Medford won't fight state's Wal-Mart ruling

The city of Medford has decided not to appeal a state land use board's recent ruling on the a proposed Wal-Mart.

"If they're saying that we should have done something, then by all means we should do it," councilman and attorney Jason Anderson said before the decision at a noon meeting today.

The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals ruled earlier this month that the city erred and a citizens group has the right to speak in a public hearing on Wal-Mart.

Medford had until Sept. 28 to file an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Wal-Mart still could appeal the decision to the Oregon Court of Appeals. Attempts to reach Wal-Mart attorneys were unsuccessful.

LUBA ruled that the city was incorrect in denying Medford Citizens for Responsible Development the right to participate in proceedings about the store in November 2005. The city attorney denied the group the right to speak during one of the hearings, saying it had lost standing when it failed to file a brief in a 2004 LUBA appeal.

The group, led by Talent City Councilwoman Wendy Siporen, has argued the developers of the 207,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter project should be required to conduct a comprehensive traffic study for the site. The project is proposed for the former Miles Field site.

Wal-Mart representatives have argued that the city cannot legally require them to do a comprehensive study at this time.

— Meg Landers

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