More than a hundred people crowded into a conference room Thursday night to learn more about Costco potentially locating a store on corner of Highway 9 and 20th Street SE in Lake Stevens. (Stephanie Davey / The Herald)

More than a hundred people crowded into a conference room Thursday night to learn more about Costco potentially locating a store on corner of Highway 9 and 20th Street SE in Lake Stevens. (Stephanie Davey / The Herald)

Costco brings early plans to Lake Stevens in store proposal

More than 100 people gathered at the Thursday night meeting. Staff were there to answer questions.

LAKE STEVENS — Lisa Sinclaire would like to have a Costco store conveniently close to her home.

She also believes revenue from the retail giant would be good for Lake Stevens. At the same time, she has concerns about the traffic and growth that could follow.

“It’s a big deal, it’s going to be a big change,” she said. “It’s going to turn it from being this small little bedroom, summer community, to — when you have a Costco in your neighborhood it changes the dynamic.”

Sinclaire, who has lived in the city for 14 years, is not alone. Many questions about the proposed Costco have been related to traffic, according to the city.

Thursday night, she and more than 100 others gathered at the Lake Stevens Fire Department Conference Center, to hear from city and Costco representatives, who answered questions and showed early site and design plans.

The company, based in Issaquah, has proposed a store on the southwest corner of Highway 9 and 20th Street SE. Plans include a 170,000-square-foot warehouse store, 850 parking spaces and a 30-pump gas station on nearly 37 acres.

The property on the southwest corner of Highway 9 and 20th Street SE in Lake Stevens is seen here on July 11. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

The property on the southwest corner of Highway 9 and 20th Street SE in Lake Stevens is seen here on July 11. (Sue Misao / The Herald)

Two new roads would be built around the development — one connected to 20th Street SE and the other to Highway 9, by a roundabout.

At Thursday’s meeting, poster boards lined the room showing preliminary building designs and information about the anticipated traffic increase and wetlands on the proposed site. About 10 city and Costco representatives were on hand to answer questions.

“These meetings we hold really early in the process so we are aware of what the concerns are before decisions are made,” said Melissa Place, senior planner for the city of Lake Stevens.

Costco submitted its first land use applications at the end of April. The city then accepted written public comment for two weeks. The 26 responses the city received were split almost evenly between supporters and opponents, officials said.

During the public meeting, people in the crowd asked about delivery-truck noise, traffic and the sewer system. Mayor John Spencer also has heard concerns about the environmental impact.

“There are wetlands down there that are protected and need to be mitigated,” he said. “There’s a lot of stormwater we need to manage, and a lot of work is going on to deal with that.”

The city is working with agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers and the Tulalip Tribes, he said.

People also have expressed support for the jobs Costco could bring to the city, Spencer said.

“People want to be able to live and work in Lake Stevens,” Spencer said.

Costco representatives declined to speak to reporters.

Poster boards at Thursday’s meeting included information about the wetlands on the proposed site, traffic increases and preliminary designs of the store. (Stephanie Davey / The Herald)

Poster boards at Thursday’s meeting included information about the wetlands on the proposed site, traffic increases and preliminary designs of the store. (Stephanie Davey / The Herald)

Costco still must apply for several permits before construction can begin, said Place, the city planner. A development agreement would also need to negotiated between the city and the wholesaler. A public hearing would be held before any council vote to approve the agreement.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; sdavey@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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