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Developers Defend Study Of 44th-Regal Site In/Around: Moran Prairie

The developers of a proposed shopping center at 44th and Regal said Moran Prairie neighbors are wrong in accusing them of overlooking environmental questions.

In a brief filed by their lawyer, the developers contend their research has resolved a host of concerns, including traffic flow, stormwater runoff and the sensitive geology of the site.

The Moran Prairie Neighborhood Association is opposing plans to put up a 70,000-square-foot supermarket and two smaller freestanding retail shops just north of Shopko.

Last month, the Spokane city hearing examiner approved a site plan and zone change.

The zone change applied to two of the eight acres on the site. The rest of the land was rezoned in 1990.

The neighborhood association has asked Hearing Examiner Greg Smith to reconsider his decision.

They said Smith failed to look at the possibility of flooding in the area, as well as the question of whether such a large shopping center belongs on a single arterial street that already is congested.

Smith said he will issue a decision on the question of reconsideration within a few days.

If he upholds his previous approval, the neighborhood association could appeal his decision to the City Council.

Attorney James Craven filed a brief on Monday opposing the latest move by the neighborhood association. He is working for Dr. Ralph Berg and his wife, Mary, owners of the property.

“Contrary to what the MPNA contends, the issues of stormwater and drainage were certainly not ignored in this proposal,” Craven wrote.

He cited the stormwater and geotechnical work done by a private engineering company as evidence the development can be built without problems.

Neighborhood leaders said a study by the city and county calls for preserving the shopping center site as a corridor for absorbing and containing floodwaters.

That study warns that the low-lying property being eyed for development by the Bergs is a natural drainage way that someday could be inundated with a flow of storm runoff comparable to a large stream.

, DataTimes

Tags: government

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