Dollar General at Cascade Center approved
Molalla's Planning Commission met recently for a public hearing to discuss a pending land use action for a Dollar General store proposed for the Cascade Center development.
Staff requested minor changes to the store's development, and all were passed, said Alice Cannon, the city's planning director and Rae Lynn Botsford, chair of the Planning Commission.
In fact, it looks like IE Construction has already moved a trailer onto the land, has mowed the grass and is working hard to get started. The 9,100-square-foot retail general store will be at the southeast corner of Leroy and Oregon Highway 211.
Because of the store's size, it required a public hearing. Staff already had reviewed the proposal to meet zoning regulations, community design standards, application review procedures and approval criteria of the Molalla Municipal Code.
A letter-writing campaign introduced by Botsford at the July 24 City Council meeting is moving along. The campaign hopes to get enough letters to the county commissioners and to ODOT to let them know the city needs a stoplight at what will be the entrance and exit to the center at Leroy and Highway 211. The city and the developer want a stoplight at the entrance to minimize traffic problems and accidents the ingress and egress would cause for cars and pedestrians. The developer even offered to place the stoplight at that corner.
Council member Leota Childress brought a similar letter to National Night Out and helped spread the news around, while asking people to sign another letter for ODOT and the Commissioners. Several shops have taken the signup sheets to talk to customers for the stoplight including the White Horse and The Main Shop.
The letter is for Rian Windshiemer, the manager of ODOT Region 1, Interim Statewide ODOT Director Paul Mather, State Representative Rick Lewis and Interim ODOT Region 1 Planning Manager Melanie Ware. It was signed by Botsford and sent to the seven members of the Planning Commission. Letters also were sent from all the City Council members and from those signed by residents.
The letter states, "As Molalla Planning Commissioners we were dismayed to learn that ODOT Region 1 staff does not support the installation of a traffic signal at the intersection of OR-211/Leroy. As the decision-making body for the new Cascade Center development in Molalla, we feel ODOT's position limits the Planning Commission's ability to ensure that the access to this new shopping center will be safe and accessible.
Following the development of Cascade Center, school children, disabled adults dependent on transit, and active residents will all be at risk when crossing OR-211 at Leroy. We urge ODOT to reconsider its position. A proactive approach is appropriate for ODOT in this instance. Molalla is the second fastest growing city in Oregon. In the past three months, city staff have hosted several pre-application meetings for prospective development in the OR-211 corridor between Hezzie and Metzler. With healthy residential growth, commercial development will follow closely behind. We ask ODOT to consider the safety of pedestrians and transit riders as highly as it prioritizes auto travel on its highways, especially through cities."
It finished noting that "Oregon's Highway 211 is Molalla's Main Street. Please reconsider your staff's position and support a traffic signal at OR-211/Leroy intersection. The Planning Commission is counting on you to support livability and safety in Molalla."
This follows a similar letter the Molalla City Council sent to the same people the first week of August.
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