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Cottage Grove planners give supercenter thumbs-down.

Byline: The Register-Guard

As the City Council takes up Wal-Mart's request to expand into a "supercenter" here, both the city's planning staff and its planning commission are recommending denial.

Each said the proposal to double the store's footprint would violate conditions of the city's 1994 approval of the existing, 81,000-square-foot Wal-Mart. Each also said the proposed 160,000-square-foot store would change the character of the neighborhood, zoned for tourist-commercial development. The 1994 approval included stipulations by the state Land Use Board of Appeals that the store cover no more than 105,000 square feet and that it sit behind several buffering lots along Row River Road reserved for smaller, tourism-related businesses.

The planning staff and commission also noted that the retailer has other options for adding a grocery store in Cottage Grove. By building "up" instead of just out, it could use a second floor to add up to 60,000 square feet and remain within the permitted footprint of 105,000 square feet. It also could build a free-standing grocery store nearby. The company paid $2.2 million in December for 6 acres designated as a parking lot.

- Karen McCowan
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Title Annotation:Government
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 28, 2007
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