Last Thursday, a proposed coffee shop and restaurant development located on Sleater-Kinney Road received approval for a conditional use permit from the Lacey City Council in a 5-1 vote. The only council member who voted against the permit was Virgil Clarkson who expressed potential issues with traffic.
Currently, the southeast area of Sleater-Kinney Road sits vacant. However, with the permit approved, developer Capital Development Co., which owns the South Sound Shopping Center, can begin working on a 5,000 square foot building that will be constructed between the Bank of America and Applebee’s.
At one time, the site was a Shell gas station but in 2014, it closed. For the new development, roughly 50 percent of the space will be dedicated to a coffee shop, complete with drive-through service. At this time no brand has been confirmed although some believe it could be a Starbucks. The other 50 percent of the space will be used as a restaurant.
The only concern with the proposed development came from Clarkson. In his opinion, both the drive-through and greater volume of traffic going onto Sleater-Kinney Road would be a problem.
As shown in images presented at the council meeting, the drive-through will give vehicles entry access from Royal Street, which runs between the new development and Applebee’s, and then exiting between the coffee shop/restaurant and the Bank of America.
Clarkson stated that he did not like the drive-through idea. In fact, he pointed out a problematic area associated with a Starbuck’s drive-through located at College Street Southeast and Pacific Avenue Southeast. There, a backup of traffic is a common occurrence, primarily during peak hours. Therefore, mornings are always an issue.
However, Clarkson’s opinion was countered by associate city planner, Sarah Schelling who said there would be more than one exit for the new development. Supporting her comment, Scott Egger, Public Works Director stated that the Shell station that once sat at the proposed site generated more traffic.
Councilman Michael Steadman chimed in by saying that the city’s goals for what is known as the Woodland District is mixed-use, which is exactly what the coffee shop/restaurant accomplishes. In closing, he added that what is happening is actually a really good thing. Prior to the council taking action, the conditional use permit was presented before the hearings examiner.