Costco wants to build a 148,000-sf store on 18 acres frontingNortheast 139th Street. County planners denied the proposal inlarge part because the traffic it would generate would slow trafficto 18 mph at peak hours, which is four miles per hour slower thanthe county's minimum acceptable speed. Costco disputes the figures,and estimates 60% fewer peak vehicle trips than the county isestimating.

Costco offered up $1 million in roadway improvements --including new turn lanes and signals at several key intersections-- but county planners said it wouldn't solve the problem.Regardless, until there is capacity, Costco believes it should beable to hold its place in line, and the appeal will do that, atleast for a little while.

The want to hold its place in line stems from a proposal byLegacy Health Systems to build a 220-bed hospital in the SalmonCreek area. Legacy also must meet the same traffic requirements,but would probably generate fewer peak hour trips and, therefore,might not slow traffic too much. If that project is approvedoutright, Costco would have to wait even longer for speeds in thearea to improve before it could build --- or spend a lot more than$1 million on traffic improvements.

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