Wal-Mart architects talk plan process with county

Wal-Mart's structural designers met with Hood River officials April 10 to learn more about the jurisdictional chain of command.

Kathryn Jerkovich and Kevin Scarlett from Architects BCRA - Tsang of Tacoma, Wash., met at the courthouse with public health, fire, water and planning officials from the state, county and city. They were briefed about which local authority to contact when drawing up plans for the proposed 185,000 super center that, if approved, will be built at the corner of Frankton and Country Club roads.

The Washington architectural firm is working closely with Pacific Land Design, the Clackamas-based company hired to draft infrastructure and parking lot plans for the project.

The March 10 post-application meeting was facilitated by Eric Walker, county senior planner, who has the lead on Wal-Mart site plan review.

"We need to have these questions answered so we can produce something that's going to come through the process cleanly," said Scarlett.

Walker said Wal-Mart has until mid-June to answer the 56 areas of concern found in its building application that was submitted on Dec. 17. At that time, he said Planning Director Mike Benedict will determine whether the compatibility, transportation and design questions have been answered adequately. If deemed complete, Walker said the Wal-Mart application would then be forwarded within six weeks to the county planning commission for the first public hearing. Because of the controversial nature of the project, Walker said that hearing, which typically takes place from 7:30 to 11 p.m., could be continued to allow more testimony. Once the planning commission has ruled, Walker said any opposing party can file an appeal to have the matter brought before the board of commissioners.

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