Rite Aid shows the right plans

KINGSTON — While plans to construct a Rite Aid on the corner of Miller Bay Road and State Route 104 have been put on hold, the public is getting its chance to comment on the project to make sure it complies with county codes and local design standards.

Rite Aid’s regional construction manager Vince Berndsen and the parcel’s engineers and architects met with the Kingston Citizens Advisory Committee Wednesday and laid out what is expected to be built on the cleared lot.

There are three buildings slated for the property — Rite Aid, a multi-tenant building and a third lot that is expected to be a car wash. Mike Brooks, who owns Mike’s Car Wash and Detail in Poulsbo and on Bainbridge Island, is the potential tenant for the third facility.

Rite Aid will be a 17,000-square-foot building with a drive-thru, said project coordinator Karen Wallace of architect firm RHL Design Group Inc. The architects are striving to design the building with a “Pacific Northwest lodge feeling,” she said.

Following the established Kingston Design Standards, the architects plan to use wainscot and cedar shake siding for the street-facing sides of the building. Typically, Rite Aid stores have a brick veneer, but Wallace said the cedar shake will give it a lodge-style look.

The architects and county are still working on the building and roadside signage, as per the community’s design standards. KCAC members made it clear the restrictions must be followed, such as keeping signs as simple as possible and staying within sign height restrictions.

KCAC member Walt Elliott said he would also like to see the existing community reader board on the corner of the property retained. Greg Seipel, senior associate engineer with engineering firm MC Squared, said the engineering of that depends on legal and liability issues.

KCAC members also expressed concerns about how traffic to the site will impact the already-congested Miller Bay Road and State Route 104 intersection.

The traffic pattern for the site includes right turn-in and right turn-out only on the SR 104 side and full egress and ingress access to Miller Bay Road.

The latter could prove problematic, KCAC members stated, given the recent road improvements made to Miller Bay Road to allow additional turn lanes. With the current design, there would be no left turn access allowed from Miller Bay Road into the parcel.

“It seems like we’re already highlighting questions,” said KCAC at-large member Betsy Cooper.

“You have to understand, design at this stage is a very fluid process,” Seipel said.

“We will take the recommendations this committee, or panel, provides,” Berndsen added. “We want to come over into this community as part of the community.”

The project will not move forward until Kitsap County Department of Community Development receives additional information on stormwater and traffic issues and a clarification on other uses proposed in the master plan.

The county is currently accepting comments from the public about the project. Comments can be sent to Karen Ashcraft, Kitsap County Hearing Examiner Office, 614 Division Street, MS-36, Port Orchard, WA 98366. Information about the project can be accessed through DCD planner Jeff Smith at (360) 337-7022.

Comments will be accepted through the date of the Hearing Examiner’s public hearing on the project, however, that is undetermined at this time.

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