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Court delays Abingdon Walmart ruling

Staff Report • Nov 26, 2008 at 12:00 AM

The Bristol Herald-Courier is reporting that six years after a preliminary subdivision plat was approved for a proposed Walmart shopping center at Exit 14, a circuit court judge said Tuesday that it will be several more months before he determines how the development can proceed.

Washington County Circuit Court Judge C. Randall Lowe, after hearing evidence from the Town of Abingdon, where the retail center would be located, and Commonwealth-Abingdon Partners LP, the developer, gave both sides a schedule to provide briefs on the case.

"The bottom line is really there's not too much debate as to the facts. It's really the interpretation of the facts as they apply to the law," Lowe said. "There are subtleties here that the court does not wish to miss."

At issue is whether the proposed development can move forward under a zoning ordinance in effect in 2002, when the project was first proposed, or if it must comply with the current ordinance, which requires additional steps.

In the six years since, the developer has been through lengthy processes to seek approval from state and federal highway agencies as well as utilities and other entities that must sign off on the project.

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