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Monday, October 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Foes Of Shopping Center At 44th, Regal Face Deadline

The Moran Prairie opponents of a new shopping center at 44th and Regal aren’t revealing their next strategy.

Spokane’s hearing examiner earlier this month approved a zone change and new design plan for a 70,000-square-foot supermarket and two smaller retail buildings.

Members of the Moran Prairie Neighborhood Association have until Friday to file an appeal of the decision to the Spokane City Council, association leaders said.

“We are still gathering information,” said Greg Sweeney, a leader of the group.

The filing fee for an appeal is $200, he said. Then, the appellants would have to pay for reproducing a transcript of the hearing. The total cost could be $1,500.

Association members would have to share the costs, he said.

They are concerned about uncontrolled growth, which they say contributes to stormwater flooding, traffic congestion and ugly commercial strips.

Hearing Examiner Greg Smith is requiring the developers at 44th and Regal to undergo a review of their architecture by a city design committee.

The city is also requiring the developer to pay for installation of a traffic light at Regal and the Palouse Highway.

If the association decides to appeal Smith’s decision, it won’t do so until the deadline, Sweeney said. The group’s leaders want to reveal as little of their strategy to the developers as possible, he said.

Also, Smith’s decision was unclear about whether the developer would be required to install lined evaporation ponds under emergency controls adopted by the city.

Association President Susan Brudnicki said she wants to clear up the confusion before the association moves ahead with any appeal.

“We sort of have to figure out where they are,” she said.

The project was designed with stormwater collection ponds that would allow the water to infiltrate back into the ground.

Under the emergency rules, the city and county are seeking to stop that practice on Moran Prairie until a stormwater collection system is built to prevent flooding.

The primary owners of the 8-acre parcel are Dr. Ralph Berg, and his wife, Mary Berg. Their son, architect Rick Berg, is leading the development work.

They have not identified the supermarket that is considering the site. However, an official from URM Stores Inc. appeared at the hearing to assure the examiner that the site has strong potential for a successful store operation.

Wendy’s restaurants spent the past five to six years searching for a South Hill site and would open an outlet at the northwest corner along Regal. The operators of Wendy’s restaurants in Spokane have signed a purchase agreement for the land.

Rick Berg owns Video Unlimited in Spokane and could open a new outlet on the southwest corner.

, DataTimes

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