City to review HR Walmart expansion plans

Feb. 23, 2011

The City of Hood River planning department has received a full application for a proposed expansion of the existing Walmart facility at 2700 Wasco St.

According to Cindy Walbridge, planning department director, there is a 30-day window for internal review of the application prior to issuance of a return letter to Walmart, which will indicate either a complete or incomplete status of their application.

The application arrived on Feb. 14. Walmart announced on Dec. 29, 2010, a planned expansion and remodel for its 15-year-old store in Hood River which would add an additional 30,000 square feet of retail business space.

During the city planning department internal application review, and with advisement from the city attorney, criteria will be established under which a "complete" or "incomplete" determination letter will be issued.

"The public may fill out a public records request at the city planner's office if they wish to view the Walmart application," said Walbridge. "It can be reviewed at any time."

According to Walbridge, the city invites public comment throughout the review process. In addition to collecting public comments as they are received in the planner's office, scheduled public meetings or public notice in local media will also be conducted to keep the public informed.

In a city planning commission meeting scheduled for Feb. 22, the 2011 Transportation System Plan update, now under construction, will include presentations on potential impact of increased traffic flow resulting from Walmart's proposed expansion. Truck and patron traffic in the area is projected to increase substantially.

With two major failing intersections and interchanges in the area adjacent to the proposed expansion, specific traffic related criteria will be under scrutiny in relation to the application.

"We already have failures on our side streets which intersect Cascade Avenue," said Walbridge. The term "failure" here refers to documented increasingly unsafe lane entry or crossings experienced by drivers at impacted intersections.

The Walmart store changes will, according to a Walmart-issued press release, include a full-service grocery section, deli, bakery, pharmacy and optical center.

Walmart's press release also indicates that the proposed building plans will incorporate energy-efficient technology, such as LED lighting, recycled materials such as steel and plastics, a light-color roofing, fly-ash concrete, waste heat reclamation and automatic light-dimming system.

"We look forward to working with the city and community on remodeling this store," said Havener.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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