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‘We can’t stop growth’: La Pine mayor gives us an update on possible businesses coming to the area

(Update: Adding video, comments from resident, mayor)

LA PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The city of La Pine expected new businesses, and many residents were looking forward to the potential openings. 

"It's growing -- you know, we can't stop growth," La Pine resident Gordon Richardson said Wednesday.

Last year, the city of La Pine told us that it had initial consultations with developers about putting in a Walgreens, Starbucks and AutoZone. 

La Pine is changing and growing, and a 30-year resident had some questions about where the city is headed.

Richardson said, "There was a rumor the Starbucks was coming, Walgreens. I've heard of fast food stores coming in - and nothing is showing up. We'd like to know what's happening in this town. This is a nice little town."

Mayor Daniel Lee Richer told us Wednesday there's been no further communication from owners or developers regarding Starbucks and AutoZone, to indicate if they will be moving forward.

"AutoZone and the Starbucks projects that were projected to us in this pre-permit consultations session, we haven't seen any fruition from that at all," the mayor said.

Richer said it took a good amount of time for Walgreens to complete their application, but that indeed, the national drugstore chain recently turned in a completed application for building permits, and it's being processed. 

The duration of time between when an application is turned in and approval depends on when others have turned in applications. 

The mayor said businesses wanting to open in La Pine need to build a location, because existing retail space is occupied.

"That's one of our downfalls," Richer said. "We have a lot of industrial area that's available, but we really don't have very much commercial space that's available."

Recently, some restaurants have moved into the city, as well as a sporting goods store. A three-story Wellness Center is also under construction at the La Pine Community Health Care. 

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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