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Cedar Mill News
Volume 4, Issue 9


September 2006

No Wal-Mart, maybe?

by Virginia Bruce, editor

On August 7, the Beaverton City Council voted 5-0 to overturn the Board of Design Review decision allowing the Wal-Mart store at Cedar Hills Boulevard and Barnes Road.

The Notice of Decision, published on August 17, cited two major problems with the development – errors in the PacLand traffic estimates, and failure of the proposed store to fit within the transit-oriented zoning for the site.

Wal-Mart has 21 days from the date of publication to appeal the decision to the State of Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). Wal-Mart has a poor record with LUBA, losing five of its six appealed decisions since 2003. But Portland attorney Greg Hathaway, who has been representing the retail giant in this proposal, said the company believes that the Beaverton decision is “legally indefensible.”

The Notice, which is available on Beaverton’s website (see footnote) cited 24 “Findings” that put the proposed development into conflict with Beaverton’s goals and statutes. The Council felt that PacLand underestimated the amount of traffic that the store would generate, stating, “There is no other Wal-Mart on the west side and there was testimony that people would drive a long way to get to this one.”

The intersection, which would have been up to eight lanes wide, was deemed to be dangerous and would discourage pedestrian traffic. “The sheer length/width of the pedestrian crossings…adjacent to the site by themselves preclude pedestrian safety and convenience…Such barriers and obstacles to the pedestrian circulation system are unacceptable to serve pedestrians and tansit users.” The Peterkort property on the north side of Barnes is planned to be built out as residential and office buildings, and it was felt that the size of the intersection would forever be a barrier to pedestrians.

Beaverton’s newest Council member, Bruce Dalrymple, would like to see a different kind of development at the corner. “This site may be best served by providing multiple retail service businesses at a more pedestrian scale. Businesses that will serve the surrounding and developing transit station uses, surrounding neighborhoods and align more closely with helping to resolve impacts of this transportation corridor.”

Many Cedar Mill residents have been apprehensive of an eventual annexation of the Cedar Mill area by Beaverton. Some of these people are encouraged by this decision to believe that a more enlightened Council might not make such a bad government alternative.

Note: the Notice of Decision is available as a PDF file linked from


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Published monthly by Cedar Mill Advertising & Design
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229