The Roseburg Kmart has been sitting vacant for four years, and now that WinCo Foods has plans to build a new supermarket on the site, city officials are not wasting any time getting that proposal approved.
The Roseburg Planning Commission took about two minutes to discuss and unanimously approve the project Monday night, in what was technically an adoption of the findings of fact of the site plan review. The vote was taken during a special meeting on Monday, the first of its kind in at least three years.
City staff at the planning department have also recommended the project be approved. An appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision, which must be submitted within 14 days, would then go to the City Council. If the City Council’s decision is appealed, it would go to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.
The Boise-based supermarket chain has submitted plans that calls for demolishing Kmart, which has sat vacant since June 2017, and replacing it with a smaller WinCo.
The Kmart building, located at 2757 NW Stewart Parkway, covers 88,000 square feet. The new WinCo store would also be single-story and spread out over just under 73,000 square feet. The store will be open 24 hours, WinCo officials said.
In addition to tearing down the building, WinCo plans to reconfigure the parking lot, install new landscaping and perform other improvements to the site. The total site covers about 9.45 acres. The property also contains the Big 5 Sporting Goods building at 2655 NW Stewart Parkway. That building is about 10,000 square feet. WinCo has said it has no plans to change the current business operations of Big 5.
Plans call for the new supermarket to have 342 parking spots, about 100 more than what is required by city regulations. There will be eight handicap parking spots and 28 spaces for bicycles, according to the plans submitted to the city. There will also be 48 trees at the site.
The project architect is Tait & Associates Inc., out of Boise.
WinCo Foods has 133 stores in 11 states — including 23 in Oregon — and more than 20,000 employees. WinCo also has six distribution centers, including one in Tri City that employs more than 50 people.
A group called Safe Streets Roseburg, through its Eugene attorney Sean Malone, has raised concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety at the site. Malone said a traffic study done on behalf of WinCo Foods was insufficient and more needed to be done to protect shoppers entering and leaving the proposed store.
WinCo officials countered that any increase in traffic will be minimal, and said they had taken measures to mitigate any potential problems. Those measures included a new median along part of Northwest Stewart Parkway and a traffic signal that forbids right turns on a red light.