Latah County residents had complained about proposed development near state line. James Toyota of Moscow has proposed developing a 6-acre dealership about one mile west of Moscow into Washington.
Whitman County Planner Mark Bordsen announced Wednesday he stands by his original determination that a proposed shopping center development on the eastern edge of the Moscow-Pullman corridor poses no significant negative environmental impact.
Despite comments from Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney and Latah County resident Mark Solomon, Bordsen said the concerns had already been adequately addressed.
Legal notice of his decision, said Bordsen, will be published today in the Colfax Gazette. That will also trigger a 14-day period during which his decision can be appealed.
"The appeal must address why the final determination given here is in error or inadequate, and must demonstrate that the county decision of mitigated determination of nonsignificance is wrong," Bordsen wrote in his decision.
Only Chaney and Solomon have standing to file appeals, Bordsen said. A $500 fee must accompany the appeal.
The shopping center, proposed by Hawkins Companies, is reportedly to be anchored by a Lowe's home improvement center and other potential big-box stores. The 110-acre site butts up against the Idaho state line.
Bordsen's affirmation of his original decision comes after Chaney recently questioned yet another proposed development in the corridor
As in the mayor's concerns with the Hawkins proposal, Chaney questions the environmental impact of a large automobile dealership, including a potentially detrimental parking lot. She recently told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News the parking lot might create a "heat island" that could warm runoff water into nearby Paradise Creek.
The city of Pullman has not objected to either the Hawkins shopping center or the Toyota dealership proposals.
In the comments about the Hawkins proposal, Chaney and Solomon focused on concerns about transportation, water resources, water rights, storm water management, wetlands, emergency services, land-use issues and others.
Bordsen, in a six-page memorandum dated Jan. 9, addresses each issue and gives his reasons for dismissing them. One of the more important items addresses groundwater availability. At one point, there was talk of Moscow exploring the possibility of providing municipal water and sewer service to the development. But that seems to have gone away after the developer decided to seek a water rights transfer to drill a well.
Chaney and Solomon registered concern the Hawkins well would be too close to a proposed new Moscow well. "If the city has an existing water right for its planned well site," Bordsen wrote, "that water right will fall within the scope of review of Hawkins' water rights transfer application by the Washington State Department of Ecology."