Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Pullman Wal-Mart advances"

2010. Mark your calendars.

From today's Spokesman-Review:
Wal-Mart has cleared another legal roadblock to building a controversial
superstore in south Pullman.

A Washington state appeals court has dismissed a challenge to the proposed
223,000-square-foot store by a citizens group concerned about its affects on
traffic and businesses.

The 3rd District Court of Appeals this week rejected an appeal by the Pullman
Alliance for Responsible Development, which had contested the city's approval of
the site plan and its determination the development was not likely to have
significant adverse environmental impacts.

"We are overjoyed; we have been kind of patiently waiting on this one," said
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Jennifer Spall. "As far as we're concerned, this is the
last legal straw, and we are going to proceed with construction."

PARD members will meet today to plan a new strategy, which "may or may not
involve further legal matters," said spokesman T.V. Reed.

"PARD knew that we were up against a huge monopoly, and while we're
disappointed, we're not surprised by the decision; we continue to figure out new
ways to fight Wal-Mart," Reed said. "We continue to believe that Bishop
Boulevard is a terrible site with huge traffic problems."

The decision came more than three years after consulting company CLC Associates,
which has a Spokane Valley office, applied to the city of Pullman for approval
to build the store on a 28-acre wheat field on the south side of Bishop

PARD appealed to the state court after a Whitman County Superior Court judge and
the city's hearing examiner upheld the city's decision to allow development.

Once Wal-Mart hires a contractor, it will take up to 15 months to build and
outfit the store, Spall said. "We were hoping to have this in 2009, but it may
be a 2010 store."
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