“In every part of a place or object.”
Those eight words, which constitute the dictionary definition for the word “throughout,” were the linchpin for the argument put forth Monday to the Roseburg City Council against allowing a WinCo Foods supermarket to be built where the vacant Kmart now sits.
Eugene attorney Sean Malone, who represents the group Safe Streets Roseburg, said that city code requires walkways “throughout” the parking lot at the proposed new supermarket at 2757 NW Stewart Parkway. Since the word “throughout” wasn’t defined in the codes, Malone said he turned to a dictionary and used that definition.
WinCo Foods, a Boise-based supermarket chain, has submitted plans that call for demolishing the old Kmart and replacing it with a slightly smaller supermarket. Once construction begins, the store should open in about a year, WinCo officials have said.
The plans call for two walkways, which are a far cry from putting them throughout the parking lot, Malone said Monday.
“‘In every part of a place’ in my opinion, and that of Safe Streets Roseburg, would not be satisfied by two crosswalks. It would be easier if the code were more specific but it’s not,” Malone said. “What I’m looking at is some justification for how two walkways are considered throughout the site.”
The matter is not simply a matter of semantics, he said. The language is in the city codes for a reason, namely public safety.
“The lack of separate paths, or walkways, results in an island of parking spaces. More crosswalks, more pedestrian walkways, can increase safety,” he said. “The City Council, in my opinion, should prioritize safety.”
Malone also said a traffic study done on behalf of WinCo Foods was insufficient, and more is needed to be done to protect shoppers entering and leaving the proposed store, and not add to traffic at the intersection of Northwest Stewart Parkway and Northeast Edenbower Boulevard.
City planners, who recommended the project be approved, said WinCo had gone beyond what the code called for to make sure the development is convenient and safe for pedestrians and drivers. For example, WinCo agreed to put in a right turn only sign at one exit, add a curbed median on Stewart Parkway and pay for changes to the traffic light pattern at the intersection of Stewart Parkway and Edenbower Boulevard if that is deemed to be needed to deal with heavy traffic.
“We really worked hard with city staff to design this site,” said Dan Zimmerman, a Boise architect who worked on the project for WinCo. “WinCo wants to be a good community neighbor.”
The City Council approved the project unanimously. Several councilors applauded the new supermarket and the economic boost it will bring to the area.
Councilor Sheri Moothart said she knows people who shop at the WinCo in Eugene. Putting a supermarket here will change that, she said.
“This will keep that money in our county,” Moothart said. “Overall it’s a great plan. It’s going to be a great addition not only to Roseburg but to our county.”
Councilor Bob Cotterell said the new WinCo will provide jobs and be good for the economy.
“I am really supportive of this,” he said.
And Councilor Alison Eggers said she welcomes the new supermarket and the demolition of the vacant Kmart.
“To me, a building not derelict in this town is a plus plus plus,” Eggers said. “To me, I don’t see how we can’t approve, and vote for it.”
The City Council was the second public body to sign off on the proposal — the city’s Planning Commission also approved it. If the Council’s decision is appealed, the matter will go before the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.
The Kmart building, which has sat vacant for four years, covers 88,000 square feet. The new WinCo store would spread out over just under 73,000 square feet. The store will be open around-the-clock.
WinCo plans to reconfigure the parking lot, install new landscaping and perform other improvements to the site, which covers about 9.45 acres.
WinCo Foods is an employee-owned supermarket chain known for its bulk items and low prices. There are currently more than 130 WinCo stores in 11 states, with more than 20,000 employees.