Of the many lies told about the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development, surely the silliest is that PARD is "anti-growth." Over the past three years, PARD has supported 18 significant commercial developments and opposed a grand total of two (Wal-Mart and the Crimson Village strip mall built on a flood plain). Of the more than 20 new apartments and housing developments, PARD has opposed a grand total of one (a development on a wetlands right next to the high school). We also opposed one conditional use permit, for the Cordova, because it meant less development, favoring instead a plan to develop a series of shops around a renovated theater.
Responsible development is not zero development. It is just what is says it is - development that responsibly contributes to the economic, environmental and cultural health of the community.
And right now we have before us an excellent example of what a responsible new commercial development looks like - the expanded Moscow-Pullman Building Supply. It is also everything the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter is not. This is a locally owned, longstanding business that already has given much to the community. It is a business known for excellent service, fair prices, and for treating its employees well. It is a store of significant but not overwhelming size that, unlike Wal-Mart, will not compete unfairly with other local businesses. It fills the need for development on Bishop Boulevard without creating huge traffic problems or impinging on our cemetery. It addresses our loss of business to Moscow by addressing the one shortcoming of the current store - its limited stock.
MPBS's plan shows we can expand businesses from a local base in ways that address our need for more choices without in the process destroying what we have already.
This development offers a model of how we might continue to develop our town. But as part of a rapidly, haphazardly growing Bishop-Grand area, it also makes clear that we need a series of truly open public meetings to plan for the optimal, responsible growth of Pullman.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Did I hit a Nerve?
After reading TV Reed's latest letter to the editor, I have to wonder if that was a direct response to my last post PBS Construction Ground Breaking.