August 21, 2000
DUVALL--Work resumed on the Safeway project last week, following a five-month study of possible impacts to a neighboring property. Construction had been on hold since early March due to a lawsuit by the owners of Boxhill Farm, a nursery across the highway (SR-203) from the project.
In a ruling on the lawsuit, Superior Court Judge Kathleen Learned found that studies on impacts of light and glare to the nursery property had been insufficient and ordered work on Safeway to be stopped while further studies were completed.
According to City Engineer Elizabeth Goode, the studies resulted in three options that will be available to the nursery owners. The options include either the installation of an eight-foot-tall solid wood fence and full screening landscape done by Safeway, a cash offer in lieu of the screening work, or a WSDOT-approved mesh barrier installed to screen the nursery from light.
Safeway Real Estate Manager Mitch Johnson said the company is getting its contractors back to the site. "The building shell is about three-quarters done," he said. "We need to get the contractors out there to get the work finished while the weather is still good. We are excited to be back working and hope to get as much done as possible."
He said the company is shooting for an opening date by the end of this year. Johnson added that the SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) study done on the project was the largest document Safeway has ever done on any new store in Washington.
"We looked at every environmental issue to make sure everything was done properly," he said. "I am very confident in it."