Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yes, There Will Be a Wal-Mart in Pullman *UPDATED*

The following comment was just made to this post from January 2006. For some arcane reason, Google has that come up first when you search for "Wal-Mart" and "Pullman."
So, three years later... is Wal-mart opening a store because I have been waiting a while.

Haven't we all?

As of now, we are waiting for a hearing date to be set by the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III, in Spokane for the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development's frivilous, delaying tactic appeal.

Once the hearing is over, it could take two to three months for the decision to be handed down and for the building permits to be issued before ground can be broken. Construction of the store itself will take approximately 15 months. So it will be Summer 2009 at the earliest before we can start shopping at our own Wal-Mart.

If they lose at the appellate level, PARD has vowed to go the Washington Supreme Court and beyond. However, it is very unlikely that the Supreme Court would hear any such appeal. The upcoming hearing is likely the last stop in the long sordid chain of PARD appeals.

And Wal-Mart is not about to pull out. The Palouse is a market they want to penetrate. Where else would they go? The Hawkins Companies development in the corridor? No way, not with all the issues surrounding water that project is facing currently. Moscow? That concept is probably back on the table now that the City Council makeup has changed, but there still remain formidable regulatory obstacles (rezone, conditional use permit, etc.)

What can you do in the meantime? Write a letter to the editor of the Daily Evergreen or Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Don't write about PARD. Those jihadis are in it until the bitter end. There is no convincing them to quit now.

No, write to express your support of the Wal-Mart project, the millions in tax revenue the city is losing out on, and how that every day that goes by without ground being broken only encourages more opposition to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart does keep tabs on what is being said locally.

We as a community need to do everything we can to encourage Wal-Mart to get tough with PARD. Forget the stupid appeal. File for a building permit NOW and force PARD and their union lawyers to run to the Appeals Court and get an injunction. Then, Wal-Mart could ask for an appeal bond. The members of PARD would be out hundreds of thousands of dollars if they stop construction and lose the appeal. Look at Chelan. What's the worst that could happen? As long as judges in Washington are elected, there isn't one who is going to order a $20 million building that has already been constructed to be torn down and throw 400 people out of a job. In addition, let's urge Wal-Mart to ask for attorney's fees after the appeal is decided in Wal-Mart's favor. Let's see if Wal-Mart can get a lien on a few professors' houses in Pullman. The message has to be sent that it will be costly to engage in pointless delaying tactics against Wal-Mart. Otherwise, Wal-Mart will face the same scenario again in town after town after town.

UPDATE: April, as usual, provides some excellent source material.

There was a land use decision today in the Court of Appeals Division III, State of Washington. A "grassroots" neighborhood group like PARD was suing a developer and Spokane County over a hearing examiner's decision. They lost, and now they have to pay attorney's fees:
F. Attorney Fees

The applicant requests attorneys fees on appeal pursuant to RCW 4.84.370. The prevailing party on appeal of a land use decision is entitled to its attorneys fees if it also prevailed before the agency and in the superior court.

RCW 4.84.370(1); Baker v. Tri-Mountain Res., Inc., 94 Wn. App. 849, 854, 973P.2d 1078 (1999). The statute states in pertinent part:
Appeal of land use decisions--Fees and costs. (1) . . .
[R]easonable attorneys' fees and costs shall be awarded to the prevailing party or substantially prevailing party on appeal before the court of appeals . . . of a decision by a county . . . to issue, condition, or deny a development permit . . . . The court shall award and determine the amount of reasonable attorneys' fees and costs under this section if:
(a) The prevailing party on appeal was the prevailing or substantially prevailing party before the county . . .; and
(b) The prevailing party on appeal was the prevailing party or substantially prevailing party in all prior judicial proceedings.
RCW 4.84.370(1).

Here, the applicant prevailed before the county and in the superior court.

Therefore, subject to the provisions of RAP 18.1, we award the applicant reasonable attorneys fees on appeal.


Under the relevant LUPA standards, PNA has not met its burden of proving it is entitled to relief from the hearing examiner's decision. Accordingly, we affirm, and award attorneys fees to the applicant.
Wal-Mart and the City of Pullman prevailed at both the hearing examiner and superior court level. Doesn't look good for the PARDners. They better start holding some "fair trade" craft sales and raise some money. I wonder if their union handlers warned them that attorney fees were a strong possibility when they launched this appeal?

As far as this being right from the Wal-Mart hater playbook, check out what the Service Employees International Union's Wal-Mart Watch website advises:
Appealing a Pro-Wal-Mart Rezoning

If you can appeal a rezoning, or a special permit decision in your state—do it. It will allow you to gain half a year to a year’s worth of delay—during which time, land deal can fall apart of expire, Wal-Mart can move on, etc. Delay always works to your benefit as a citizen’s group.
Quod erat demonstrandum.

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Daniel F Schanze said...

I just cannot fathom why anyone would be against Wal-Mart coming to Pullman, or any other geographic for that matter.

I asked someone today why they hated Wal-Mart so much and they could not give me one answer aside from: "Well, just because!"

This is just a prime example of how superfluous the left really is.

On another note, does anyone know where I can get the names and pictures of the members of PARD?

April E. Coggins said...

Daniel, you can visit the Whitman County Democrats website. It reads like a who's who of PARD.

Tom Forbes said...


You guys should definitely consider screening "Why Why Wal-Mart Works: And Why That Drives Some People C-r-a-z-y." Ron Galloway, the filmmaker, asks students at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC the same question and gets the same liberal zombie answer.

As far as PARD goes:


TV Reed

Greg Hooks

Jason Rogers (Page 5)

Alex Hammond

Chris Lupke

Deirdre Rogers (in the black turtleneck and glasses)

Jose Alamillo

Don and Pat Orlich

Daniel F Schanze said...

Thanks for the info everyone! I have an interesting idea...

Tom Forbes said...

Sorry, I left out job titles:

T.V. Reed: Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Director of American Studies & Professor of English, WSU

Greg Hooks, Chair, Department of Sociology, WSU

Jason Rogers, Graduate Assistant, Psychology, WSU

Alex Hammond, Associate Professor and Vice Chair, Department of English, WSU

Chris Lupke, Assistant Professor, Chinese, WSU

Deirdre Rogers, Assistant Professor, Justice Studies, UI

Jose Alamillo, Associate Professor, Comparative Ethnic Studies, WSU

Don Orlich, Professor Emeritus, College of Sciences, Science Mathematics Engineering Education Center, WSU

See a pattern here?

April E. Coggins said...

Tom: It is worth noting that David Scott Mann is representing the appelants. He is the same attorney who is representing the anti-Wal-Mart group in Chelan. He is also a spin-off of the attorney office that is representing PARD. He is a part of the parasitic industry that makes their living from holding up developers. Instead of chasing ambulances, they chase new Wal-Marts.

Tom Forbes said...

Yes, and funded by the union dues of hard-working butchers, meatcutters, checkout clerks, and bakers, all in the name of increasing the six-figure salaries and job security of the fat cat thugs who run the union.

Of course, when the appeals court awards attorney's fees to the City of Pullman and Wal-Mart, neither the UFCW nor Bricklin Newman Dold LLC are going to be anywhere around to pick up the likely $50,000+ tab. Talk about buyer's remorse.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of jerks.

Scotty said...

Is it me or does the photo of Deirdre Rogers contain a ton of people who look angry?

Tom Forbes said...

That was taken at the very first PARD meeting held at the Daily Grind. If that photo was part of a caption contest, my entry would be:

The First Meeting of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies

Professors of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chain stores!!!

Satanic Mechanic said...

I see two people in the photo who are wearing black turtlenecks- one with a beard and one without? Which one is Deirdre?

That group photo is sad looking bunch. What were they watching? Stalin's funeral?

I am willing to bet $10 that they stiffed the waitress when it came to the tip. Probably gave some B.S. excuse about some "living wage". Cheap bastards.

April E. Coggins said...

My all-time favorite picture of PARD is the city council meeting when they all wore duct tape over their mouths. If only they had left it on!

Tom Forbes said...

I just realized in that PARD group shot that the lady with the glasses and the long gray hair at the far right is the one that muttered "all that money goes to Bentonville anyway" and stormed out of the council chambers last year during the Wal-Mart public hearing after Bill Reid presented the economic impact study.