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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Battle scene

If, like me, you've been trying to visualize where the contested Wal-Mart site in Sellwood is, here's the Google satellite image (scary in its precision and clarity) along with the Google map. (To get the little marker to show up on the map, for some reason I had to go to the satellite page first, and click on the "Map" link in the upper right.)

Some readers wondered whether the site is in Portland or Milwaukie. From this Multnomah County precinct map, it looks to be just on the Portland side of the line. It's definitely just on the Multnomah side of the county line. The City of Milwaukie's street map also makes it look as though the site is in Portland. The Milwaukie line looks to be just north of Sherett, and the Wal-Mart location is just north of that.

Elsewhere in webdom, the protesting neighbors have a website of their own now. It's here. Their poster isn't going to win any public relations contests, but it does get to the point, now, doesn't it?

Comments (10)

Maybe somebody should point out to Wal-Mart that at that location they will be paying Multnomah County and City of Portland Business Income Tax and Business License Fees. Might be enough to get them to head on down the road.

Right across from the Acrop - SWEET!

I understand also that the property owner had been having discussions with Tri-Met for quite some time over that site being a park and ride. My heresay source says Tri-Met wouldn't commit. It's secondhand, so take it for what it's worth.

oops.. hearsay, not heresay.. which is closer to heresy... obviously I'm not an attorney, and I don't even play one on TV. Jack, is there any way to edit our typos after we've posted?

I am glad Erik pointed that out first, although I must admit it was the first thing I noticed when I checked out the map. The other thing I noticed was how the boundaries of Sellwood continue to grow. First it was real estate agents trying to justify inflated home prices by claiming the shacks they offered were in Sellwood, now the anti-WalMart folks. Where will it stop?

There are two arguments against Wal-mart.

The first relates to physical site design. Wal-mart, to everyone's surprise, has recently expressed a desire to not build the traditional big box with acres of parking in front. The anti-Wal Mart group should petition the city to require Wal Mart to provide a good site design.

The second relates to all the political reasons to oppose Walmart: destroying local stores, underpaying workers, locking janitors in the stores, pricing shenanigans. This issue should have no chance to prevail against the overwhelming constitutional right of a property owner to make reasonable use of his or her property, and the overwhelming facts government would need to come up with to deny a property owner this right for purely political reasons.

I would suggest that the anti-Walmart crowd make sure the design is built with a nice, wide public sidewalk by the entryway. And then that the opponents picket the store once it opens, providing informational pamphlets, on the public sidewalk. Let the potential consumers make an educated choice about whether to shop there. Let Walmart present its counter-arguments (and there are many). If protesters could shut down Walmart once it opens by convincing potential customers to go elsewhere, they will have made a far bigger impact on the retail giant than getting the store rejected in the first place.

I've just assumed it's the old Mill Ends Store site. Am I wrong?

Wal-Mart, Acropolis, Reed College, and the Eastmore Golf Club. Now that's one helluva neighborhood.

Eastmoreland, that is.

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