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City Council to decide fate of Walgreens

By Greg Moberly

Staff Writer

The fate of a proposed Walgreens at the corner of Brunswick Road and Sutton Way, which has drawn concerns about its design and impact on traffic, should be decided tonight by the Grass Valley City Council.



Two additional turn lanes ” a right turn lane from southbound Sutton Way onto Brunswick Road and a left turn lane from Brunswick Road onto Sutton Way ” have been added to the existing proposal.

“I’m not saying it doesn’t work, but I just don’t know enough,” said Grant Cattaneo, a Citizens Concerned About Traffic member, talking about the new lanes.




He said he wanted to know how the added pedestrian traffic would blend in with the traffic configuration.

The Walgreens proposal calls for a 14,550-square-foot building and two 800-square-foot buildings for commercial businesses on the site where the closed Jim Keil Chevrolet dealership sits. The buildings would be torn down to make way for the development.

City officials worked with the developer, Interra Development Partners, adding traffic improvements.

“This is an added benefit,” said Dan Chance, the city’s associate planner. The traffic would flow like it does now if the lanes are added to the Walgreens project, he said.

In other changes made late last year, plans have the front of the Walgreens building separated from the sidewalk along Brunswick Road by some parking spaces ” but still moving it closer to the sidewalk than in previous plans.

In addition, two small retail buildings along Sutton Way abut the sidewalk and face that street, another nod to citizen and planning commission concerns that the original proposal wasn’t sufficiently pedestrian friendly.

But that’s not enough, said former councilman and land-use planner Steve Enos.

Walgreens in Ohio communities that are smaller than Grass Valley have been designed more pedestrian friendly, with the building up against a sidewalk, Enos said.

“Walgreens, why doesn’t Grass Valley deserve the type of quality project that you just built in Upper Arlington or Poland, Ohio?” Enos wrote in an opinion column in The Union this past weekend.

Grass Valley’s new development code, approved last year, draws heavily on “new urbanism” concepts to extend the feel of the historic downtown to other commercial areas. However, Glenbrook Basin falls under community design guidelines that prefer bringing businesses closer to the street ” but don’t require that standard, city officials said.

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To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail gmoberly@theunion.com or call 477-4234.


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