Beaverton Walmart - NO!
Article from Beaverdoom Valley Times - meeting tonight
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Wal-Mart part two: Neighbors set to jump in
Community Newspapers - 03/17/05
Wal-Mart's proposed 148,668-square-foot development in a Cedar Mill shopping center will get a more formal airing tonight (March 17) when the Central Beaverton Neighborhood Association Committee tackles the issue.
Association Chairman Charles Wilson, who runs the Substation sandwich shop in downtown Beaverton, has invited both opponents of the plan and Wal-Mart representatives to talk to the neighborhood group.
Wal-Mart representatives will not attend tonight's meeting, Wilson said. The company said it more likely would attend a neighborhood meeting in April or May, he said.
The association meets at 7 p.m. in the Beaverton Community Center, 12350 S.W. Fifth St., suite 100. The Wal-Mart discussion is tentatively scheduled for about 8 p.m.
It might be a little out of the way for the association that normally sticks to issues in the area around downtown. But Wilson decided the city shouldn't let the public's concerns about the hot hot hot Wal-Mart proposal fester until hearings in a few months before the city's Board of Design Review.
"It might fall under our (neighborhood association committee) because there's no NAC in that area," Wilson said.
"It's a hot topic, to say the least. I'm going to try to have a good meeting about this. If nothing else, peoples' objections can be put in the NAC minutes and the city will read them."
Wilson hopes his neighborhood meeting is a little less raucous than the March 10 informal meeting at the Kingstad Center on Southwest Millikan Way in which hundreds of opponents of the Wal-Mart plan briefly took over the stage and loudly voiced their concerns with the proposal.
For about 45 minutes, a hostile crowd, estimated at between 400 and 650 people, chanted and shouted displeasure with Wal-Mart's plan.
"It was kind of a scene," Wilson said. "I don't even think it was a meeting. What I would like to do is have a formal meeting on this."
Last week's meeting also attracted representatives from Gresham First, a group fighting Wal-Mart's plan to develop a supercenter at the corner of 182nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard.
A handful of local legislators also attended the meeting, some who were keeping a close eye on the Cedar Mill proposal. State Reps. Brad Avakian, who represents the area, and Mitch Greenlick talked to people in the crowd. State Sen. Charlie Ringo, a Beaverton Democrat, also showed up to look at the plans.
The Bentonville, Ark., retail giant said in early February that it hoped to build its first westside store on the site in the Peterkort development on about nine acres southwest of the intersection of Cedar Hills Boulevard and Barnes Road.
The new store would be somewhat smaller than the company's usual "supercenters." It also would be constructed to blend into the community, said Eric Berger, Wal-Mart's regional community affairs manager in Seattle.
Company officials met two weeks ago with Beaverton city planners to discuss the proposal. Although there is no timetable for the application, Wal-Mart could submit its plan for the store in a couple of months, Berger said.
Representatives of the project developer, Pacland of Milwaukie, are reviewing information gathered during last week's meeting and taking a closer look at traffic issues, Berger said.
Pacland's drawings on display last week at the Kingstad Center showed a 148,668-square-foot retail building to house the Wal-Mart and two separate commercial buildings on the same site: a 4,335-square-foot office complex and a 9,905-square-foot retail structure.
Last week's meeting was designed to provide information about the proposed development, with no presentation by staff. Representatives of Wal-Mart's architecture firm, Perkowitz and Ruth Architects of Portland and its transportation and landscaping firms stood at four stations around the large meeting room with maps and answered questions about the proposal.
People attending the meeting were asked to sign in before walking around to look at the drawings and renderings. A line snaked out the front door of the Kingstad Center for more than an hour as people obliged and wrote questions on small slips of paper.
When people finally got inside and realized there wouldn't be a formal question-and-answer session with city staff or Wal-Mart representatives, they became restless, chanting "We want a formal presentation! We want a formal presentation!"
At one point, opponents grabbed a microphone and took to a small stage at the east end of the meeting room, chanting and calling for Wal-Mart to answer their questions.
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