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“Less than a month before Chelans new Super Wal-Mart is slated to open, a Chelan County Superior Court judge has thrown out the city-issued building permit for the megastore.

Defenders of Small Town Chelan today provided a written copy of an order signed by Judge Lesley Allan on Friday. No one from the court, Wal-Mart or the city of Chelan could be reached to comment.

The implications of the decision are still unclear, but Wal-Mart opponents say they will likely ask Allan to order that the 162,000-square-foot store be torn down.

‘Were obviously pleased,’ said Laurel Jamtgaard, spokeswoman for Defenders of Small Town Chelan, which sued in May to challenge the building permit.’ …

The store has begun hiring employees and stocking shelves in preparation for a Jan. 22 opening.

In the written ruling dated Friday [December 29], Allan wrote that the city did not follow its own land-use rules in granting the building permit and another permit for grading and excavation on the site about a half mile northeast of Chelan off Highway 97A.

The excavation permit was issued on April 20, and the building permit was issued on May 1.

Allan wrote that a development plan for the site adopted by the city in 2002 only allowed buildings up to 50,000 square feet. The city is required by law to adhere to those requirements, since the plan was never revised to allow larger buildings, she said. The Wal-Mart store is more than three times that big, which would have required some modification of the plan, she noted.

She continued that ‘this court is left with the definite and firm conviction that the city erred in granting the two permits at issue,'” quoting the Wenatchee World.

Posted by Steve on January 5, 2007 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

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