City Commissioner Sam Adams has made no secret of his disdain for Wal-Mart's business practices—his window at city hall even displays a "No Sellwood Wal-Mart" sign, a reference to the company's effort to put a store in SE Portland. Now, he has an idea he thinks will halt plans for yet another store, this time on Hayden Island.
This Thursday, July 13, Adams is introducing a resolution that would notify the state's Department of Land Conservation and Development of the city's intent to place a moratorium on big developments on the North Portland island. Under state law, the city can impose a moratorium if further development would max out the city's ability to provide water, sewage, or transportation to the area.
Wal-Mart, Adams' office estimates, would add 13,000 more trips to the island per day. Currently, the only way in and out of Hayden Island—which is home to the sprawling Jantzen Beach retail center—is I-5. As it is, I-5 is already clogged with traffic, especially during rush hour, when commuters from Vancouver cross over into Portland.
The moratorium will allow the city to study the impact of the development on the island—much of the study will fall to the Portland Department of Transportation.
If council passes Adams' resolution, they'll have to revisit the issue in 45 days to vote on the actual moratorium, which could last as long as two years.
"We have not given Hayden Island any planning attention since we annexed it in 1996," Adams said, adding that the street system there was privately developed and antiquated.
"It's not just the annoyance of traffic congestion," he continued. "Portland is the third most trade-dependent city in the nation—congestion has the potential to cost jobs."