City commissioner wants study of the impact of proposed projects, including a Wal-Mart

Commissioner Sam Adams will introduce a resolution at Wednesday's City Council meeting calling for a development delay of up to two years on Hayden Island.

If approved by the state Land Conservation and Development Commission, the construction moratorium would delay three major projects on the island, including a new Wal-Mart, an expansion of the Jantzen Beach shopping center and the redevelopment of a service station into a larger retail project.

Adams said the moratorium is necessary to allow the city and regional governments to complete land-use plans for the island, which include a long-neglected neighborhood plan and the preferred route of a new freeway bridge across the Columbia River.

'I am calling for a timeout on Hayden Island. This doesn't mean no new construction will ever occur - it just means it won't occur until we've had a chance to make sure Hayden Island and the surrounding area can handle the growth,' said Adams, who was scheduled to unveil the resolution Thursday night at a neighborhood meeting on the island.

Although Adams is a vocal critic of Wal-Mart, he said the resolution was not aimed specifically at the large retailer, which has filed plans to build a new store at the site of the now-closed Thunderbird Motel.

Wal-Mart regional spokeswoman Jennifer Holden said company lawyers would review the proposed resolution as soon as it is available.

The Hayden Island Neighborhood Network, the official neighborhood association on the island, has not taken a formal stand on the resolution yet. But James Olheiser, the association's land use and planning committee chairman, said residents are worried about the potential impact of the additional traffic on the island.

'If all of the projects being discussed happen, the island couldn't handle it. Our streets aren't up to it and the access to and from the island isn't good enough,' he said.

Under state law, if the council approves the resolution, the Bureau of Planning must conduct a study to determine whether it is justified. If so, the bureau must submit its findings to the LCDC, which can issue up to four construction delays of six months each, for a total of 24 months.

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