At least four communities in Oregon have defeated Wal-Mart plans in the past few months. The latest is Medford, Oregon. The Medford City Council this week overturned an advisory commission’s recommendation, and rejected a proposal to build a Wal-Mart Supercenter. The Medford Council voted 5-1 to reverse the Site Plan and Architectural Commission’s April 2 decision to approve the Wal-Mart, according to a report from the Associated Press. Among the concerns of the Council were traffic congestion, but the issue of compatibility with other nearby properties was an even bigger issue. “It is not compatible with the surrounding area,” said Councilwoman Claudette Moore. “I shop at Wal-Mart. I have no problem with Wal-Mart,” she said. “I believe the burden of proof for compatibility has not been met,” said Councilman Jim Kuntz. The Site Plan Commission approval was appealed by local residents to the City Council, which has the final say in the matter. Wal-Mart does have the option to take the case to the Oregon Land use Board of Appeals (LUBA), but the Medford rejection is a major victory for residents, and places the burden on Wal-Mart to overturn its defeat.
For a list of stories of other communities in Oregon which have recently turned down Wal-Marts, search this Newsflash database by “Oregon.” It’s been a tough year for Wal-Mart in the Pacific Northwest.