Grocery store options are there

Letter to the Editor

I am compelled to give you my opinions on the grocery store issue.

Quote: Tucker said the problems were not minute and went against the core principles of what the city and Quadrant came up with to govern development in the retail area. After communicating this to QFC, Tucker said they came back last month with some small revisions that were still a far cry from what is required by the standards.

My two cents: It sounds like QFC is being very arrogant. It sounds like a typical large corporation that expects to get its way with little regard for small communities that have little (perceived) leverage. I think it would be wise to take QFC’s blatant disrespect as a clear, early warning, rather than simply as an expected opening proposal that would lead to a future negotiated compromise.

If you do choose to look at it as simply the beginning of negotiations, I strongly advise you to quickly buck up, and show them no mercy as well. If you cave now, it is all over. Issue a press release stating that Snoqualmie doesn’t take that kind of disrespect lightly and that there will be no more communications whatsoever on the matter until they demonstrate a thorough understanding of our community and our well thought out planning code.

On a side note, there is a good possibility that taking this kind of pro-community, pro-pedestrian stance (and following it up with additional action) will attract more “quality” retailers, more visitors and more residents.

Quote: “My concern is that we have a great grocery store chain,” Short said. “Did anyone really ask, ‘Does it [the development standards] make sense for a grocery store?”

My two cents: If you ask the “experts” on grocery store development standards, what do you think we will get? We will get what 99 percent of the rest of suburbia gets – a big ugly box set way back from the street with a parking lot full of cars. We will have created what everyone else has, a car-oriented development that makes it incredibly challenging for people to comfortably walk from the street to the front door.

Let’s not think that someone “out there” knows any better than we do on what will make our city a better place.

Quote: Developer Mark McDonald, “Operationally, it [having the storefront on the street] doesn’t work,” he said. “It just flat out doesn’t work.”

My two cents: Come on now Mark, I think you are being a little extreme, if not hostile and self-serving. In fact, the QFC in Wallingford is a decent example of how you can develop a store that has an opening to the street while still accommodating the cars. A small parking lot fronts the Wallingford store on one side. The majority of cars park across the street.

And did you know that there is a huge neon sign that says Wallingford on top of the QFC grocery store? That is an example of how much power a community has.

We get to shape our commercial development. That is the right of the community. Just because an individual owns a piece of land, or a large corporation has a lot of money and clout, doesn’t mean their desires take precedence. We all have to work together and come up with solutions that are in the best interest of the entire community.

The PCC in Fremont is another great example of a pedestrian-friendly grocery store. In fact, even though I’ve shopped there, for the life of me I couldn’t even tell you where the parking lot is located. That is good pedestrian design.

We don’t have to go too far to find numerous examples of real, working solutions that can meet our community needs and the needs of the grocery store retailer

Ross Kilburn