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Wal-Marts traffic study must be rejected

(Soapboxes are guest commentaries from our readers, and anyone is welcome to write one. Henry Kane is a retired attorney and a resident of Beaverton.)

The Beaverton City Council has numerous grounds to reverse the Board of Design Review approval of the Wal-Mart application, including crime, design and failure to produce a valid traffic analysis.

Board chair Mimi Doukas misled a majority of BDR members to reluctantly approve an application it wished to deny.

The June 1, 2006, BDR draft minutes quote her as claiming: '… the City has very little ability to address any of the concerns with regard to the transportation system. …the Board would mostly be addressing design issues and compared this process to moving deck chairs on the Titanic, pointing out that the Board only has authority over the deck chairs.'

Wrong: the board approved the Wal-Mart application with 76 conditions. Many state what Wal-Mart must do to mitigate Wal-Mart-caused higher traffic congestion and gridlock.

Because the city has power to impose conditions, the Wal-Mart application is not an 'outright permitted use.'

No BDR condition mitigates the reduced ability of emergency and private vehicles to reach, in a timely manner, the Providence St. Vincent Hospital emergency room on Barnes Road. Barnes west of the hospital to Skyline Boulevard has only two lanes.

Beaverton City Charter section 19.C.2 mandates:

'2. Unless waived by a majority vote of the entire council, a member of any committee, board or commission shall be a resident of the City.'

Her Oct. 19, 2001, application said she was a non-resident and Director of Land Use Planning for WRG Design Inc.

Ms. Doukas was not a Beaverton resident in 2001 and is not a resident now. The council did not waive her residence requirement. Therefore, BDR approval of the Wal-Mart application is 'tainted' and grounds for reversal of the order approving the application.

Wal-Mart's self-serving traffic impact analysis must be rejected because it does not identify the components of the computer program 'model' used to pull data 'out of the air.' Because the analysis cannot be checked for validity, Wal-Mart has not met its burden of proof.

Wal-Mart's Traffic Impact Analysis must be rejected for numerous failures to comply with Beaverton Development Code sections 65.55.20.4. et seq. relating to transportation facilities.

Wal-Mat's TIA does not comply with BDC 65.55.20.4.C.7 and 11:

'Existing traffic shall be measured within the previous twelve months.

'Traffic volumes shall be based on data from a minimum of three typical weekdays. …data shall be provided for weekends if weekends are the peak traffic period for either the existing street or the proposed development.'

'Collision data for the most recent three-year period...'

Wal-Mart's TIP does not comply with BDC 65.55.20.4.D:

'…The report shall include complete documentation of trip generation calculations including Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Trip Generation… or an alternative basis of trip generation and the rationale for using the alternative.'

Claims by bureaucrats supporting Wal-Mart's TIA must be rejected because the record does not contain facts supporting the TIA.

The city violated the state and federal constitutional rights of residents and property owners in the forcibly annexed Cedar Mill community containing the Wal-Mart site. It did so by refusing to create a new neighborhood association committee (NAC) or making the territory part of an existing NAC. The effect was to deprive them of the right of representation before the BDR and council.

Wal-Mart did not conduct a valid BDC 50.30 Neighborhood Review Meeting, hence the council must reverse the BDR order.