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Observer 11/24/14

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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow SESSION LOOKS AT ISLAND PROJECT, BOX STORE SIZE

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SESSION LOOKS AT ISLAND PROJECT, BOX STORE SIZE

The La Grande City Council work session planned for 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall has been expanded and will not only include a discussion about limiting the size of big-box stores but also the proposed Island Avenue street projects.

The scheduled discussion of limiting Wal-Mart-type stores in the city to 80,000 square feet should take about 30 minutes, City Manager Wes Hare said.

"I think our council realizes it can't adopt a ‘footprint' ordinance on our own; that such an ordinance for La Grande alone won't accomplish anything."

If this area wants to limit the size of stores, he said, it will have to do so with Island City, which has indicated it would accept a Wal-Mart of any size.

The company has said it will build a super center in the area next year, but it has not come forward with any plans or requests for permits or rezoning. The size could be up to 170,000 square feet, company officials have said.

The second item on the agenda for the workshop, where no votes will be taken by council members, is a discussion on the proposed Oregon Department of Transportation road projects along Island Avenue.

"We are asking ODOT and representatives of the business community to come to the meeting to discuss the projects," Hare said.

"We are not traffic engineers, but we want to find out what's planned, what's objected to and if any compromises can be worked out or if there is any need for changes," Hare said.

"We are hearing different things, but it appears the biggest objection by the businesses is to the proposed traffic median," Hare said.

That discussion should begin about 6:30 p.m. and last about an hour, Hare said.

"It's not a public hearing on the issue, but anyone who wants to talk about it will be heard," he said.

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