Business

SK Grocery cleared to expand next summer

"After four years in a crammed store on Bethel Road, the owners of South Kitsap Grocery are hoping to move into bigger digs by late next summer.The Port Orchard City Council agreed April 9 to grant a conditional use permit to Ka Soung and Peter Hung, owners of South Kitsap Grocery, for the construction of a mini-mart and eight-pump gas station off Bethel Road and Maple Avenue near Bay Street. Because of the site's proximity to Blackjack Creek, Hung was required to get a conditional use permit to build on the 1.11-acre commercially zoned site, which is currently home to four office and retail buildings. Hung said he is anticipating the move will provide better service for his customers - many of whom are loyal, long-time patrons of his store. We need more room than what we have now, he said.And while it might seem counterintuitive to put a new gas station right across the street from an existing one, Hung expects the site will be successful. We'll help each other, not hurt each other, he said. More people will be coming in - he's on the right-hand side, I'm on the left-hand side.Hung said with traffic backed up on Bethel during rush-hour, it's difficult for motorists to make a left into the 76 Station at Bethel and Bay Street. With the mini-mart and fuel station there, he said, people heading out of downtown Port Orchard will be able to pull off for gas at his business.According to the proposal, engineering firm Norm Olson and Associates will be adding 600 square feet onto a 2,200-square-foot building for the mini-mart and a 2,268-square-foot canopy for the gas station.As part of the site development, Olson said, all 1.11 acres will be improved, with better aesthetic value and stormwater maintenance.Although the project will be adding to the site, he said, the amount of impervious surface is actually shrinking by about 3 percent. Two biofiltration swales will be installed at the north side of the site to collect and direct stormwater runoff and all buildings on the site will be outfitted with rainwater separators.The applicant will bring much of the site into compliance with city shoreline requirements, said City Planner Robert Wenman. They will be controlling and re-directing run-off. They'll be providing water quality control for the whole site. The proposal meets the intent of the city's comprehensive plan. A maritime theme will be incorporated into the building, according to design plans. Light standards will also have a nautical element, and lighting will be sheltered under the fuel station canopy so it doesn't spill outside the parameters of the site.Landscaping will be improved, Olson said, with native vegetation planted throughout and an additional buffer of trees planted along Maple to screen existing buildings. The client wants to improve the appearance. The goal is to take the entire complex and upgrade it, Olson said. You have a client who wants to do a good job here.Some audience and councilmembers were initially skeptical of the project, with questions revolving around reduced parking at the proposed site to about 33 spaces. Olson said the site has been planned according to standard design practice. It's one per 300. That's what's required, he said.Other councilmembers expressed satisfaction with the proposed site plan. Councilman Tom Stansbery said the site as it currently sits is really a sad-looking place right now, and Councilman Bob Geiger added the buildings were constructed in 1959 and haven't been significantly improved since.Anything that would make that look better, said Councilman Warren Van Zee. I think it's a good idea. It helps Port Orchard. "

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