Moscow opposes proposed dealership in corridorMoscow City Council is overstepping its boundries. They had allowed a lot of development on Warbonnet Drive, which would be the same as the Hawkins development, but when it comes to stuff being in Whitman County all of a sudden there is a problem.
Mayor says James Toyota's plan threatens area's surface water and groundwater
By Ryan Bentley Daily News staff writer
Tuesday, January 9, 2007 - Page Updated at 11:48:10 AM
The city of Moscow filed formal comments with Whitman County last week concerning the county's determination on a proposed Toyota dealership on the Pullman-Moscow Highway.
The Whitman County Planning Department gave a determination of nonsignificance for the State Environmental Policy Act guidelines on James Toyota's proposed 6-acre car dealership one mile west of Moscow.
Moscow objects to building a large impermeable surface such as a parking lot next to Paradise Creek, which flows through the city and across the state line into Washington and Whitman County.
The city is afraid the parking lot will create a "heat island" that will warm the creek's water as it passes the lot, and that increased traffic will jeopardize the safety of cyclists on the Chipman Trail and other motorists on the Pullman-Moscow Highway. The city also is concerned the large car dealership would put too much strain on the area's shared water supply. [Don't worry about the water Moscow, James Toyota will close their business in your city so the water saved there will make up for it!]
James Toyota has been in its current location on Pullman Road in Moscow since 1990.
The city's comments mirrored those it made regarding Hawkins Companies' proposed 600,000-square-foot retail development, which would be located just northeast of the proposed Toyota dealership.
Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney rejects the idea that the city wants to control development in the corridor between Moscow and Pullman.
"When I hear words like ‘mongering' and ‘throwing weight around,' that tells me I'm not doing my job," Chaney said. "We are trying to come to a common understanding of what our motives are.
"We have a declining aquifer that we all share. We have to take care of this."
Moscow is trying to be consistent with its comments on development, Chaney said. It wants Whitman County to grow from its cores of Colfax and Pullman. Chaney said if the dealership were to locate between Pullman and Colfax, the city would still comment on the project. [So any development in Whitman County is fair game for Moscow? I wonder if Moscow is also working on stopping development in Montana, Oregon, and Canada?] The dealership still would draw water from the Palouse Basin aquifers, which could put Moscow's water supply in danger.
Chaney said the city has no hard feelings toward James Toyota, and that the dealership has been a great business to have in town.
Chaney also said Moscow is not anti-growth, [As long as the development is in Moscow where they get the tax dollars, and the business is politically correct.] but city officials believe the area needs to focus on high-tech industries [If there is no place to shop then those high tech industries will have a hard time getting and keeping quality employees, ask SEL] and "green" businesses.
"We cannot be a ‘you-all come' area or we will become just like other urban centers that people are escaping from," she said. "The green light is on for environmentally responsible business. We can, and must be choosy and only allow businesses that share the goal of conserving our resources."
Water ultimately will determine whether Hawkins or James Toyota can locate in the corridor. The Washington State Department of Ecology will decide if water rights acquired by the companies can apply to the developments.
Whitman County planners declined to comment on the project until the board of adjustment holds a hearing for James Toyota's conditional use permit. The original hearing, scheduled for last Thursday, was canceled due to inclement weather. The hearing has not yet been rescheduled.
Whitman County Planner Mark Bordsen said the county will address the city's comments at the hearing.
Representatives from James Toyota did not return calls seeking comment before press time.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Follow Up To Moscow Is Trying to Stop James Toyota
This is a follow up to my earlier post about Moscow City Council trying to stop James Toyota. April had asked where I got my information and if it was correct. This article from the Daily News goes along with my earlier statement.