Oregon Land Use Board Of Appeals has sided with a Clatsop County group that opposes the construction of a Walmart Super Store in the Warenton Business Park. Warrenton City Commissioner Henry Balensifer reports that the decision means Walmart will have to go through the planning and permitting process again after making significant changes to the plan for the store if they intend to contnue.
Balensifer was serving on the city planning commission when that body considered allowing the retail giant exceptions to requirements for the placement of a loading dock, the number of bicycle racks normally required and a lot line adjustment for the property. The plan submitted by Walmart showed the store constructed facing away from highway 101 with a loading dock facility at the rear of the store concealed by a wall described by some members of the planning commission as making the new store look more like a prison than a retail establishment. Walmart designers responded by offering to plant trees and other greenery that would help screen the wall from the highway but then opponents brought up objections to the type of trees the company planned to use saying they are not a coastal species and would look out of place.