HOOD RIVER, OR-Hood River County Commissioners this week balked at legislating away a planned Wal-Mart warehouse. The same day Wal-Mart formally submitted its application for a 185,000-sf “supercenter,” county commissioners voted 4-to-1 against an emergency action that would have restricted commercial buildings to 50,000 sf.

Wal-Mart is proposing the project for 16 acres of commercial property at the junction of Frankton and Country Club roads. A “yes” vote on the emergency action would have temporarily halted large-scale construction in the urban areas while a permanent code change was reviewed. Wal-Mart still would have been able to seek approval, but its 185,000-sf project would have to be presented in at least four buildings–not something Wal-Mart would consider.

The proposed legislation was prompted by concerns from citizens and local land-use organizations. Their concerns about traffic, wetlands and small businesses will be brought up again during the formal review process.

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