Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"Appeals Court: Pullman Wal-Mart can be built"

PULLMAN - A big decision over the Wal-Mart dispute in Pullman was made Tuesday. A Washington Court of Appeals sided with the City of Pullman and the Spokane Valley developer who wants to build a Wal-Mart supercenter on Bishop Boulevard.

The issue has been back and forth between various jurisdictions for some three and half years. And Tuesday the Appeals Court ruled in favor of the City and CLC Associates. The court says those two entities have followed the proper procedures and, in the case of the city, correctly evaluated the impacts of the supercenter.

The super Wal-Mart has been challenged in the courts by PARD, the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development. As of late Tuesday afternoon, PARD had not released a statement about the decision.

A Pullman group favoring the development, BREO, or Businesses & Residents for Economic Opportunity, praised the decision. BREO co-founder Tom Forbes said the supercenter is vital to the economic future of the city.

“Our answer to a growing demand for retail services in Pullman cannot continue to be ‘Go shop in Moscow , Lewiston , Clarkston, or Spokane instead,’” said Forbes.

Forbes referred to a 2006 study for the Moscow Chamber of Commerce conducted by University of Idaho economist Steven Peterson. Forbes says Peterson found that Pullman had a net retail sales leakage of $95.5 million for 2004 to neighboring cities.

“With the Wal-Mart case now over and the Hawkins Stateline Retail Center on State Route 270 set to break ground soon, we are sending the message that Pullman is on the rise and that our city is a great place to live and do business,” Forbes said in a news release issued by BREO.

It is unknown if PARD will pursue any further appeals.
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