Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Corridor 3-Fer, Part 3

From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Business park being considered Owner of Moscow-based STRATA asks for rezone in Pullman-Moscow corridor

The Hawkins Companies' proposed retail development could have some company near the state line if Whitman County officials approve the rezone of 15 acres of agricultural land.

Assistant County Planner Allan Thomson said Moscow resident and business owner Travis Wambeke has proposed rezoning the land as a heavy industrial district, with plans to create a business park.

The property is located at the northwest corner of Airport Road and O'Donnell Road - just east of the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport.

Thomson said the current outline presented to the county calls for the creation of three 5-acre parcels that will be leased to construction-related businesses involved in engineering and other geotechnical work.

Thompson said Wambeke also plans to relocate his company - STRATA - to the business park. The business currently operates in Moscow.

Wambeke declined comment on the proposal at this time.

County Commissioner Greg Partch said he is excited about the prospect of having the business park locate in Whitman County.

"We would welcome them to Washington," Partch said. "We welcome others to do the same thing."

Partch said the county's work to make its zoning regulations amiable to businesses is beginning to pay dividends.

"We have zoned that to be very business-friendly," Partch said. "We are very receptive to listen to anyone that wants to move in."

Partch said the Hawkins development and Wambeke's proposal are likely just the beginning, and he hopes to see a variety of businesses relocate or start up in the corridor.

"I think it is just the beginning for us," Partch said. "Things are moving along a lot faster than we expected. I hope there's a lot more.

"We would like a mix of development out there," he added. "That was our intent and that's what's happening."

Most rezoning hearings go smoothly, but there always is the chance someone will object to the proposal, Thomson said.

"There's always potential for someone to show up to a hearing that has some sort of objection, then it's the planning commission's decision," Thomson said.

"Usually it is not a complicated process and it is allowable in the comprehensive plan to make land changes like this," Thomson added. "As far as the code is concerned it is allowable, but the public has a chance to voice their concerns."

The public will get its first chance to voice its opinions at a public hearing before the county's Planning Commission on March 5 at the Whitman County Public Service Building in Colfax.

If the Planning Commission gives its approval, the proposal will be forwarded to county commissioners for a final decision. Thomson said the commissioners likely will schedule hearings on the matter later in March.

As part of the initial rezoning process, the planning department determined the proposal will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment and issued a mitigated determination of nonsignificance in accordance with State Environmental Policy Act regulations.

1 comment:

April E. Coggins said...

That's exciting news. I wonder what the reaction will be from Moscow's leftists who claim to be for development of high tech industry in the corridor?