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Gresham Wal-Mart decision delayed

The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals has requested more time before it issues its decision in the saga of whether Wal-Mart can build at a busy Gresham intersection.

The company, city officials and neighborhood groups agreed to the two-week extension. The decision, which had been due Thursday, March 22, will likely be issued April 5, said Laura Bridges-Shepard, city spokeswoman.

Wal-Mart is seeking to build at the intersection of Powell Boulevard, 182nd Avenue and Southwest Highland Drive, despite being denied twice by Gresham's hearing officer.

City officials contend the intersection is one of Gresham's most dangerous and that the store would add to congestion. Wal-Mart believes its traffic studies dispel such worries and that the site is preferable to other possible locations.

Kelly Burgess of the Land Use Board of Appeals said the board's request isn't unusual. She said the Wal-Mart issue is complicated, and board members also are preparing final opinions on several other cases.

'They don't (request extensions) that often, but with a lot of cases pending it does happen occasionally,' Burgess said.