City cites congestion concerns to Sumner

at base of Elhi Hill

By Dennis Box-The Courier-Herald

The proposed Sumner Shopping Center located at the bottom of Elhi Hill has prompted some concern about traffic congestion from Bonney Lake city officials.

The engineering firm, Shea, Carr and Jewel from Olympia, prepared a traffic impact analysis as part of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) determination for the shopping center.

Bonney Lake officials submitted comments to Sumner July 1 based on the traffic impact statement. The comments were about the increased traffic congestion on state Route 410.

The shopping center includes a 94,000-square-foot WinCo Foods, which is a chain of discount grocery stores founded in 1967 in Boise, Idaho. Along with WinCo, there are plans for a 3,550-square-foot fast food restaurant and 40,000 square feet of retail space for the site.

The nearly 14-acre center would be located on the south side of SR 410 at the bottom of Elhi Hill and east of 166th Avenue East next to the Sumner Shell.

White-Leasure Development Company, from Boise, Idaho, is planning to have the shopping center completed by end of 2010, according to the traffic analysis document.

John Vodopich, planning and community development director, sent a letter to the city of Sumner outlining Bonney Lake's concerns.

Vodopich wrote, “non-motorized transportation impacts are not being addressed. Requiring sidewalks on both sides of 166th Avenue east to 64th Street could provide some measure of safety for pedestrians and bicyclist...”

The director pointed out the SR 410-166th Avenue east and west ramps are “dysfunctional now.”

Vodopich stated in the letter, “there should be a plan to make the total improvements around the SR 410-166th Avenue intersection before any single development significantly impacts these ramps...”

Vodopich said during a phone interview these are all issues Sumner can address during the SEPA process.

“These (issues) can certainly be mitigated,” Vodopich said. “Put a light in at the ramp or whatever they feel is appropriate.”

WinCo was negotiating with Dean Ogle in August 2005, a property owner in Eastown. Ogle said the company pulled out of a purchase agreement.

At the time Ogle said WinCo did not give a reason for ending the purchase agreement.

The Eastown property was located at 10116 225th Ave. E on the south side of SR 410.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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