Council Preps For Wal-Mart Remand

The Hood River City Council this week discussed procedure for the upcoming hearing on a the latest state Land Use Board of Appeals remand on whether Wal-Mart still has the right to expand its Hood River location based on the original site plan approval 22 years ago.  Mayor Arthur Babitz says the December 2 hearing will be on the record and focused on that narrow question, and there will be no open public testimony.  Each party will be limited to ten minutes to speak, and are also being asked by the Council to submit their documents by November 18.  The latest remand came in the wake of the Council invoking the “rule of necessity” to compel Councilor Kate McBride to vote after she recused herself due to past work with groups opposing a Wal-Mart Superstore in Hood River County in order to break a tie.  LUBA found the Council did not make enough of an effort to arrive at a decision before bringing in McBride, and should have required a full disclosure of relevant ex-parte communications.

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