A vacant piece of property on Sleater-Kinney Road Southeast has new life after the Lacey City Council approved a conditional use permit for the site on Thursday.
That means the developer, Capital Development Co. — the owner of South Sound Shopping Center — will move forward with bringing a 5,000-square-foot building to 529 Sleater-Kinney Road SE, in between Applebee’s and Bank of America.
The site used to be home to a Shell gasoline station, which closed about 2014.
About half the new building will be a coffee shop with drive-thru — possibly a Starbucks — while the remaining space will be used by a restaurant.
Although approved by the council on Thursday, it was not a unanimous vote. Councilman Virgil Clarkson voted against it after raising concerns about the drive-thru and increased traffic driving onto the already busy Sleater-Kinney Road.
According to images shown during the meeting, the drive-thru is designed so that vehicles will enter it from Royal Street, which runs between Applebee’s and the proposed development, and then exit between the development and Bank of America.
“I don’t appreciate the drive-thru very much,” Clarkson said, wondering whether the proposed drive-thru will be anything like the Starbucks drive-thru at Pacific Avenue Southeast and College Street Southeast.
At that location, traffic regularly backs up, especially during peak hours, he said. “There are major problems in the morning,” Clarkson said.
Associate city planner Sarah Schelling said the development will have more than one exit. Public Works Director Scott Egger added that the former Shell station also generated traffic.
Councilman Michael Steadman reminded the council about the city’s mixed-use goals for the area, also known as the Woodland District.
“This is a good thing that’s happening,” he said.
The final council vote was 5-1. Lacey Mayor Andy Ryder was absent.
The conditional use permit went before the hearings examiner before the council took action.