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OREGON CITY, OR-Wal-Mart’s second attempt to win approval here for one of its retail warehouse development was shot down last week by the city’s community development director Dan Drentlaw.In its first attempt last year, the retailer was not able to obtain the zone change it needed, as the city commissioners voted unanimously to deny it. Three months ago, it filed a new application for a new site in the city that wouldn’t require a zone change, meaning it wouldn’t need approval from either the planning commission or the city commissioners, just administrative approval from Drentlaw. Drentlaw denied the application last week, saying the applications were practically identical and, according to city code, an applicant must wait a year before submitting a “substantially similar” proposal. Wal-Mart has until June 14 to appeal the decision to the City Commission. If commissioners uphold the denial, Wal-Mart could appeal to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals and, if denied there, to the Oregon Court of Appeals.Wal-Mart will be in front of the Oregon Court of Appeals later this month regarding a proposed store on 26 acres at the confluence of Northwest Cornelius and West Baseline roads. The Hillsboro City Council rejected Wal-Mart’s application in August 2003. Wal-Mart appealed to the state Land Use Board of Appeals in September. In April 2004, LUBA sided with the Hillsboro City Council. Oral arguments in front of the state Court of Appeals are scheduled for June 18, after which the court has 91 days to make a ruling.Wal-Mart also has appealed a January decision by the Hood River County Commission rejecting the retailer’s request to replace its existing 75,000-sf store there with a 186,000-sf superstore, which would be 17 times larger than any other building in the immediate area. Hood River County planner Eric Walker tells GlobeSt.com he is currently reviewing Wal-Mart’s response to LUBA outlining their reaons for challenging the county’s decision. Walker says the county has 20 days from last Wednesday to refute the claims made by Wal-Mart’s attorneys in writing. An oral hearing in front of LUBA is expected sometime in July or early August, with a decision coming a month after that.

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