Council OKs Costco store in Coupeville

Whidbey residents soon won’t have to travel off the island to stock up on a year’s supply of toilet paper or buy two-gallon buckets of mayo.

Coupeville Town Council Tuesday night approved a conditional-use permit allowing Costco to build a new store off State Highway 20, just south of the Main Street intersection.

The 145,000-square-foot warehouse, which will also include a separate gas station, will be accessible from the highway as well as Terry Road.

Addressing the council, some Coupeville residents voiced concern that access from the highway would cut through the Kettles Trail and cause traffic backups on the highway.

The town planner responded by saying Costco will pay for a trail bridge over the entrance, and the state was requiring a roundabout to mitigate traffic at the new intersection.

As a condition of its permit application, Costco had to go through design review to ensure it meshes with the historic integrity of Ebey’s Reserve. The Historic Preservation Commission found that the traditional Costco red and blue “didn’t quite fit” and are requiring the wholesaler to change its exterior signage to Sherwin Williams America’s Heritage Pallette’s Rookwood Red and Bunglehouse Blue.

Costco officials said they will keep with the scheme throughout the interior of the store as well for continuity’s sake. This will be the only store of its kind to have different colors, they said.

And because of ongoing redrafts of the town’s sign code, the wholesaler will be prohibited from using its standard business practice of advertising current gas prices on A-frame signs near site entrances.

Council also voiced concerns over outdoor lighting requirements outlined in the permit. Councilwoman Pat Powell wanted to ensure the permit specified Costco had to use 3,000 color correlated temperature LED lights, which fall into a softer light spectrum and is recommended to be healthier for the night sky and migratory fowl.

Costco is expected to break ground April 26 and construction will begin in May. Project completion is anticipated in February 2018.

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