SK Home Depot Wins Approval

By Christopher Dunagan
Thursday, June 14, 2007
A new Home Depot store on Bethel Road, just south of Wal-Mart, has been approved by the Kitsap County hearing examiner.

The home-improvement store will be contained in a 103,000-square-foot building with a 27,000-square-foot garden center on more than 17 acres. Two other buildings approved for the site could contain a bank and a restaurant.

Jeff Coombe, project coordinator, told county officials that the store would generate about $1 million in weekly sales and employ about 150 people.

Roads and traffic controls were the biggest issues raised in testimony before Hearing Examiner Stephen Causseaux Jr. Among more than 75 conditions of approval were the requirements for a new “commercial connector” road from the back of the Home Depot property through the Wal-Mart property, providing access to Lund Avenue. Eventually, that road will continue south to Salmonberry Road, and the developer will be required to pay a proportional amount for that future construction.

The developer also will be required to install a temporary traffic signal and left-turn lane from Bethel Road into the northern portion of the Home Depot site. The signal may be removed in the future, depending on the ultimate road-widening project known as the Bethel Corridor. A second right-turn-only access may be approved by county traffic engineers, Causseaux said.

To reduce noise from trucks coming and going at night, the hearing examiner required a 12-foot-tall noise barrier along portions of the east and south property lines. Properties to the south include the Bethel Square shopping center and single-family homes. Single-family homes also are found to the east.

As additional protection against noise, if county officials determine that noise standards are exceeded three times in a six-month period, then additional measures must be taken.

Development of the Home Depot project will require filling about 2.5 acres of wetlands. Off-site mitigation for that damage includes enhancing a 7.5-acre wetland in the upper watershed of Blackjack Creek about three miles south of Port Orchard.

A 15,000-foot wetland in the northeast corner of the property will be preserved with appropriate buffers, leaving a two-acre undeveloped rectangle of land.

The applicant for the Home Depot project, Arthur Richey of Tulsa, Okla., could not be reached for comment. County planners said construction will be delayed until soils on the site are cleaned up. The contamination originated from leaking underground fuel tanks and is undergoing cleanup.

Other delays could result if this week’s approval is appealed to the Kitsap County commissioners.

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