Tigard residents organize against Wal-Mart
For over a year, Wal-Mart's local developer has been quietly preparing a proposal for a new store in the Tigard Triangle, a small commercial area bordered by the I-5, Hwy 217 and Hwy 99. The area is already plagued by traffic congestion, and many are concerned that adding more big-box stores to the area would cripple local roads. Members of a local group, Tigard First, are fighting back...
Rumors about the potential development first surfaced in March 2006, and a local citizens group, Tigard First, was organized to discuss growth concerns. The group got a boost from State Representative Larry Galizio, who helped to organize the first town-hall style meeting, where hundreds of neighbors gathered to discuss the community impacts large scale retailers, including damage to local business, increased crime and traffic congestion.
"Wal-Mart has a history of being a bad neighbor, and a community has every right to oppose development that doesn't meet their goals for a livable and transit-friendly community," said Galizio.
The group's mission is to support long-term responsible development planning that takes the best interests of the city into account and promotes the revitalization of downtown Tigard. Because of the traffic impact of a big-box store in the Tigard Triangle, as well as the effects of such a development on public safety, the environment and local downtown businesses, Tigard First has voiced opposition to a Wal-Mart or other big box store at 72nd and Dartmouth.
In order to support Tigard's downtown and protect community livability, Tigard First advocates the following:
1. Building a beautiful downtown: A moratorium on development within ½ mile of the urban renewal boundary until design standards, which are currently being developed, are approved.
2. No More Big-Box: Rezoning the Tigard Triangle for mixed use development will keeping traffic, crime & impact to local business under control.
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND WAYS TO GET INVOLVED, VISIT WWW.TIGARDFIRST.COM
*** LATEST NEWS (January 17, 2006) ***
Many residents of Tigard were alarmed this week after receiving anonymous survey calls designed to test attitudes about retail choice in the area, and to question their support for a new 24-hour "super store". For most participants, there was no doubt who was behind the calls.
To combat pressure from neighbors, Wal-Mart often keeps projects a secret as long as possible, limiting neighbors' time to organize opposition. Once a project is announced, the company works hard to find supporters. In Cedar Mill, Wal-Mart sent thousands of postcards asking neighbors to testify in support of the new store, or send written comments to local leaders.
A phone poll may be the newest way for Wal-Mart to identify local supporters, and this week's survey has neighbors worried that an official proposal could be coming soon.
According to residents surveyed*, questions included:
• Are you satisfied with retail choices in Tigard?
• How many times do you travel outside the city of Tigard to shop?
• Are there enough 24-hour shopping choices in Tigard?
• Would you support the building of a new 24-hour SuperCenter in Tigard?
Tigard First is a local citizens group whose members meet to discuss local growth and traffic concerns. Members are currently advocating long-term planning solutions including changing the zoning of the Tigard Triangle area to instead encourage office parks and small retail uses.
The group has voiced opposition to a Wal-Mart or other big box store at 72nd and Dartmouth, and is building grassroots support with lawn signs and a petition. Over 500 names appear on the document, which requests changes to the current zoning plan to address traffic and environmental impacts of over-development.
The area is currently zoned for "regional commercial" use, but intersections are already at or near traffic capacity. Traffic engineers working on the project may have difficulty squeezing in an additional 10,000 cars per day, the average that Wal-Mart Supercenters are estimated to generate.
The City of Tigard is currently reviewing their comprehensive plan, which would guide land use and zoning for the next 20 years. Upcoming public hearings will be held for the downtown urban renewal area, and Tigard First members will urge city leaders to get in front of planning issues.
address: 16200 SW Pacific Highway, Suite H-192, Tigard Oregon 97224
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