For two years, the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development and others have been calling for a thorough traffic study of Bishop Boulevard. It is one of the bases of our lawsuit against Wal-Mart and Pullman. Imagine our surprise to read that Pullman City Council was authorizing $45,000 for such a study. PARD's traffic expert pointed out 108 flaws with the earlier work, including many issues with the southeast end of Bishop - the central part of this new study.PARD claims they are not a one-hit wonder. They are here for Pullman in the long haul. It is not a group only focused on Wal-Mart, however, this letter seems to point out otherwise.
Had the city used common sense two years ago, the study of Bishop, all its major arterial connections, and downtown, could have been paid for by Wal-Mart as a reasonable part of a full traffic and fiscal impact study mandated by city code. Now they are adding $45,000 in taxpayer money on top of the $27,000 spent in litigation with PARD that would have been unnecessary if this work was done at the beginning of the development process.
PARD has long argued the reasonable development of Bishop needs to be consistent with the Pullman Comprehensive Plan. We have supported most recent and planned developments on Bishop, including the Fireside Grille, Crimson and Grey, the expansion of Zeppoz, and the planned new site for Moscow-Pullman Building Supply. Other developments, such as the strip mall on southeast Bishop, are extremely ill-advised. It is built on a flood plain at the base of road banked in the wrong direction and will impair an already impacted area near the turn of a steep descent.
Our main objection, of course, is to the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter, which is of a scale and on a site that will create huge traffic problems. It is a little late for this $45,000 study to help rectify this issue; a lot of horses are already out of the barn. If done competently, there can be little doubt that without Wal-Mart, Bishop Boulevard will be a useable, attractive new shopping area.
Deirdre Sommerlad, Pullman
They now blame the city for the $27,000+ dollars spent in litigation. They now claim that if the city had made WalMart do a traffic impact study, PARD would not have sued to stop WalMart. That claim is laughable. No matter what, PARD would have sued to stop WalMart. The cost of the litigation is on the shoulders of PARD.
Once again PARD makes claims that they are okay with the Zeppoz expansion. Wow, how bold. Crimson and Grey and Fireside were okay in their book. However, by Crimson and Grey building their new location, they left a large store front empty in the Wheatland shopping center.
What about Pullman Building Supply? A huge location that rivals WalMart, but that, too, is okay with PARD. Once again, this proves, PARD is an anti-WalMart group. They can claim otherwise, but look at their ACTIONS for the proof. They use lipservice and make claims on their website about supporting certain developments. That is not being involved like they would have people believe.
Lastly, the idea that they are against the strip mall, that is being built across from Crimson and Grey is also laughable! They were so against it they didn't raise a stink. They didn't have a petition drive. They didn't sue to stop it. They didn't commission major studies. They used lipservice to make themselves appear to be a group that fights for or against all development in Pullman, when in reality their ACTIONS show they are anti-WalMart.
Let's stop playing these games. Be honest about your intentions. The main objection is the scale and location? That may be your main objection today. But what about yesterday? What about tomorrow? Your kitchen sink arguments is so old and tiresome I don't even want to battle them any more.
Let's get to the real issue here. A group of people are attempting to stop someone from exercising their rights. Property that is owned by and zoned for this kind of development is being delayed by PARD who has no ownership of said land. If PARD wants a say, they should pony up all the money they have used to commission studies and start lawsuits towards buying the land in question. Then PARD could do as they wish. But, as we know, most Liberals love to do "what is best" with every one of your dollars -- not theirs.
PARD, please stop this. You are weakening property rights. You are weakening the Pullman tax base. With these continued delays the state EPA is putting more restrictions on development through regulation. There is no doubt that once WalMart is built and the other businesses that will come to Pullman because of WalMart will have a harder time building because of the more harsh environmental regulations.
Each and every day PARD is stomping on property rights and is causing harm to Pullman's future.