ROSEBURG, Ore. – The Roseburg planning commission gave the green light for WinCo Foods to start the process of building a new store, but city officials said the decision isn’t official just yet.
On Monday night, the planning commission reviewed and voted to adopt the company’s “finding of fact” proposal. The commission requested the proposal at a meeting on May 3 after concerns of traffic and safety were brought up by community members and a local organization, Safe Streets Roseburg.
Now that the “finding of fact” proposal has been adopted, community development director Stuart Cowie said WinCo’s site review plan is technically approved and they can start applying for building permits.
However, he said the decision is not official for another 15 days, so those opposing the project have a chance to appeal.
“But if no one appeals that, then yes, essentially approval from planning commission from a zoning stand point,” said Cowie.
According to city documents, Safe Streets Roseburg has been trying to block the WinCo Foods project since the beginning.
Their biggest concern is all the traffic the project will bring to the area and how it will affect the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
In an email to KEZI 9 News, Safe Streets Roseburg’s lawyer Sean Malone said the approval of the project was “disappointing, but not surprising.”
"Safe Streets Roseburg does not believe that all relevant criteria intended to create the safest streets and safest development have been satisfied. These include criteria regulating traffic impacts and pedestrian circulation within the site," he said.
When asked if they would appeal the approval, Malone said: “Safe Streets Roseburg intends to carry these important issues forward to the next stage in an effort to obtain reasonable mitigation of traffic impacts and full compliance with circulation requirements intended to ensure the safety of the project's patrons.”
If Safe Streets Roseburg chooses to appeal, the decision will have to be voted on by the city council.
However, many Roseburg residents said they don’t think this project will affect traffic at all.
“There was a K-Mart there before, so is it going to be busier than K-Mart was before?” said Lonie Wiberding. “I don’t think so.”
Others said they’re hopeful plans for WinCo push through.
“I’d just like a lot of stores because we don’t have a whole lot here in Roseburg,” said Marcy Green. “So, I would enjoy it.”
WinCo Foods plans to demolish the old K-Mart site on Stewart Parkway and build their newest store on the lot. Right now, there is no timeline as to when the project will be complete.