Monday, March 18, 2013
WALLA WALLA — Fifteen acres of Eastgate land off of Isaacs Avenue could one day be the newest location for a big-box retailer, but not before the city passes a number of hurdles including a public hearing Wednesday.
The property the city is now considering returning to the private sector includes 925 feet of road front at 2740 Isaacs Ave. between the Lillie Rice Center and Bryan Johnson Construction.
Ten of the 15 acres was a municipal solid waste facility from the 1940s to the 1970s, and then an inert waste disposal site until the 1990s when it was finally closed off. The property also borders the old Tausick Way Landfill.
Since closing in the late 1990s, the property has undergone a number of environmental assessments that determined, in part, that the land needs to be covered and drainage needs to be improved to keep hazardous material from leaching into the groundwater via precipitation.
City civil engineer Dean Abrams said two ideas being considered are a big-box retailer with accompanying parking or an auto dealership, both of which would improve drainage and cover the area with parking.
“It is probably the most economical way to use the property,” Abrams said, noting the city has been adding clean fill to the area to aid in drainage and cover.
In 2011, the city received a grant from the Department of Ecology to study development of the property. On Wednesday, city officials will present the findings of that study and answer the public’s questions.
The meeting will be at the Walla Walla Airport Blue Mountain Room 6-8 p.m.