What’s next for the proposed Lake Stevens Costco?

If the application process moves forward, construction could potentially begin around springtime.

LAKE STEVENS — Now that Costco’s development agreement has been approved by the Lake Stevens City Council, the company can inch closer to construction.

Costco’s next steps are to submit a construction plan and apply for building permits. The city expects to see those by early next year, senior planner Melissa Place said.

“Potentially they could break ground in the spring or summer if everything was approved and issued before that point,” she said.

The city council first discussed the development agreement a couple of weeks ago. At least a dozen people lined up to speak at that meeting, and testimony stretched into the night.

After a couple of hours the council decided to continue the discussion to a meeting last week. In the end, the council voted 6-0 to approve the development agreement.

Moving forward, no other comment period or council action is required.

The proposed store would be built on more than 37 acres at the southwest corner of Highway 9 and 20th Street SE, near South Lake Stevens Road. Plans include a 160,000-square-foot warehouse store with a 30-pump gas station and more than 800 parking spots.

The area has been zoned for commercial development since 2012.

“So whether it’s Costco or another retailer, more than likely there would be commercial use there eventually,” Place said.

Costco first showed interest in moving to Lake Stevens a couple of years ago.

Earlier this year, the Issaquah-based company started to apply for land use permits. No decisions have been made on those yet because the development agreement needed to be approved first.

The city also continues to work on mitigation strategies for wetlands on the site with the Tulalip Tribes, the state Department of Ecology and other agencies.

In a letter sent earlier this month, the state ecology department asked the city to more than double wetland buffers to 220 feet, along with other recommendations.

The city council has discussed Costco at its last two meetings. More than 100 people crowded into the chambers for both, spilling into the halls.

Neighbors voiced concerns about traffic and the impact construction could have on the environment. Others want the store for the jobs and tax revenue, and some think bringing Costco to the city is a good idea but not at this location.

If Costco does move to Lake Stevens, it expects to create 300 jobs paying at least $15.50 per hour, according to the company.

Costco has stores in Smokey Point, Everett and Lynnwood.

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

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