Costco seeks potential expansion

March 19, 2013

By Peter Clark

Costco approached the city’s Land and Shore Committee with an expansion agreement during its March 12 meeting.

Far from any potential action, Costco executives said they felt that they had outgrown their current development restrictions and brought the beginnings of an agreement for the committee’s consideration.

With Issaquah invested in Costco’s interests, the company was invited and active on the commission that brought together the Central Issaquah Plan last year, and it is under those standards the company wishes to expand its global headquarters.

The master plan is one that could fluctuate greatly, as the city’s final design standards for the future have yet to have been approved by the council.

Though the letter sent to City Administrator Bob Harrison and City Economic Development Director Keith Niven from Costco Vice President and General Counsel Richard Olin did not contain specifics about the desired expansion, it asked for a rezone of the property to be labeled as part of an Urban Village district.

As to the size of the company’s anticipated growth, the letter stated, “At a minimum, we envision that the Development Agreement would address land use processes, traffic concurrency, mitigation requirements, and vesting. The goal of the agreement would be to create a cooperative framework that would provide the City and Costco with certainty regarding future development.”

Niven said that officials had expected Costco to ask for a new agreement.

“It became clear to us that they had their sights on expanding a few years ago,” he said. “We heard that message.”

The Land and Shore Committee ended the agenda item by recommending the city government move forward with a potential expansion agreement with Costco, to be discussed at the council’s April 1 meeting, held in the Council Chambers at 135 E. Sunset Way.


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2 Responses to “Costco seeks potential expansion”

  1. Smoley on March 21st, 2013 4:58 pm

    >> asked for a rezone of the property to be labeled as part of an Urban Village district.<<

    Why is it that businesses actually want to be labeled as part of an Urban Village district and the people that already live in Issaquah do not?

    I'm guessing that most of the people that chose to move to, and live in Issaquah want a bit more "village" and bit less "urban".

  2. Unamused, again on March 22nd, 2013 12:15 pm

    Smoley: Look into the perks that go with “urban village” rezoning to see why Costco is doing this.

    I can’t find any of the actual rules on the city website (no surprise; it’s pretty dysfunctional) but my understanding is that “urban village” rezoning is the trick used by the Masters of the Issaverse like Costco, Swedish, Port Blakely, and Rowley to skirt around all those nasty ol’ development rules so rigidly enforced against us mere mortals.

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