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Cedar Mill News
Volume 4, Issue 1


January 2006

Wal-Mart resubmits Cedar Mill store application

Meeting the December 23, 2005 deadline on the nose, Wal-Mart developer PacLand submitted slightly revised plans after Beaverton planners rejected last summer’s original submission as incomplete. They have invoked state law that calls for a decision from the city in 120 days, but have offered to give the city up to 150 days. This prevents the city from sending the plan back again, but that doesn’t mean the city can’t ask any more questions to clarify issues. “We have been reviewing the application to come up with a list of items that we need more information about, and we will expect PacLand to address these issues before we schedule a hearing,” says Beaverton planner John Osterberg.

A public hearing before the Beaverton Board of Design Review may be scheduled within seven to eight weeks, says Osterberg. An appeal of the design review decision would send the application to the Beaverton City Council which might hold additional hearings. Public comment has been coming in since the original application was submitted last summer, and people may continue to comment until the final decision has been made by the commission.

Larry Bates, of the Wal-Mart opposition group “Save Cedar Mill,” has taken a look at the new plans in detail. He says, “the basic design of the Barnes/CHB interchange has not changed. However, they lopped off the eastern end of the auxiliary retail space to give up some right of way. This will do two things: (1) Make the two right turn only lanes more rounded at the corner, so cars can whiz by faster, and (2) Establish a pedestrian island adjacent to the right turn lanes. This will keep pedestrians from having to cross as many as eight lanes all at once and will make the walk lights shorter (thus letting more cars whiz by).” Bates says he feels that the city wants it to be a fair process for everyone and that they will follow the city code very closely to try to prevent the decision from being contested.

This map shows the southeast corner of the proposed Wal-Mart development – the switchback is the access to a future tunnel under the roadway

One feature that has been added to the new plan is a sidewalk stretching along the eastern edge of the property along the west side of Cedar Hills Blvd. “The city generally requires developers to put in sidewalks along the frontage of their properties where they are adjacent to major roads,” says Osterberg. However the newly constructed overpass for Highway 26 doesn’t really leave room for the sidewalk to continue southward along Cedar Hills. PacLand plans show a switchback at the south end of the sidewalk and this will lead to a tunnel for pedestrians to use to cross under the street. It is listed on the plan as “pedestrian undercrossing by others.” It isn’t clear at this time whether Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will require Wal-Mart to pick up any part of the tab for this tunnel, or when it will be constructed.

People generally don’t enjoy going through pedestrian tunnels, and the construction of one will undoubtedly be quite expensive. Perhaps a better solution would be a raised walkway partway up the earthen berm? Not a pretty situation in either case, really, and a further impediment to creating a pedestrian-friendly environment in the area.

The Cedar Mill News will continue to follow the Wal-Mart application issue closely. More information about the application and the process is available on the City of Beaverton website at www.beavertonoregon.gov/departments/CDD/CDD_walmartfaqs3.html Save Cedar Mill’s site is www.savecedarmill.com.



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The Cedar Mill News
Published monthly by the Cedar Mill Business Association, Inc.,
P.O. Box 91177
Portland, OR 97291-0177

Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229