Oregon Court Of Appeals Affirms Hood River Wal-Mart Decision

The Oregon Court of Appeals has affirmed the City of Hood River’s decision to deny Wal-Mart a permit to expand its Hood River store by 30,000 square feet.  That decision might bring to an end a four-year exchange of City Council decisions and appeals on the issue.  Wal-Mart’s current Hood River facility was approved by the city in 1991, along with the option to construct a 30,000-foot expansion.  The land on which the store is built is zoned light industrial, but in 1997 the city changed its light industrial ordinance restricting commercial uses on light industrial land, making the Walmart store a non-conforming use, and not eligible for expansion.  Wal-Mart claimed a “vested right” to expand based on its original 1991 land-use permit, but City Councilors ruled the retailer had lost it because it had discontinued construction of the expansion for longer than the 12-months allowed by the City’s non-conforming use code.  Wal-Mart has a 30-day window to appeal to the Oregon Supreme Court.

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