Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, March 05, 2007

Where Then?

PARD has repeatedly stated that Bishop Blvd. in Pullman is too crowded with traffic already. PARD claims that any further development there will "endanger schoolchildren and the elderly" and "block emergency access to Pullman Regional Hospital." The further decry the "massive" 1,039 space parking lot proposed for the Wal-Mart Supercenter, alleging it will become a "crime magnet" and "all-night party zone."

That's why Alex Hammond's comments at a Pullman Board of Adjustment meeting on Janury 22 are so curious.

With regards to a conditional use permit application submitted by Howard Neill of Three Forks Development to increase housing density, as part of a mixed-use commercial and residential project, at a property located at the easterly corner of Paradise and Daniel Street, Hammond:
Stated he was speaking as a representative of the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development (PARD). Said he supports housing above commercial uses downtown, but expressed concern about parking. He said he opposes development in the C2 zone that is primarily residential.
So, let me get this straight. Wal-Mart has too much parking, so PARD is against it. There's not enough parking downtown, so PARD is against mixed-use residential/business going in there also. Hammond has also undone PARD's argument against Wal-Mart's Bishop Boulevard location. If PARD is against a relatively modest residential project downtown because of parking concerns, certainly they cannot support dense retail say a Target or Costco, being located downtown. If not Bishop Blvd., then where PARD?

PARD is not anti-growth? In a pig's eye. True "smart growthers" would encourage downtown mixed-use development BECAUSE the lack of parking would encourage people to walk or take public transportation thus creating a vibrant "street culture" and reversing the "urban sprawl" they claim to abhor. When presented with the first truly "smart growth" projects in Pullman, they pull up the drawbridge. They are just garden variety NIMBYers the lot of them, despite their Marxist chic rhetoric.

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