2,800 Salem residents living in South Salem near Keubler Boulevard were mailed a postcard in early June that announced a meeting that might impact their lives.

The postcard, mailed by the South Gateway Neighborhood Association (SGNA) announced a June 5 meeting at the South Salem Senior Center. The meeting was intended to educate and engage neighbors about a possible move of a Costco warehouse and gas station to a location off Keubler Blvd, to between Keubler and Boone Rd. SE and Battle Creek Rd SE and 27thAve SE – the area where the south Salem Salem Clinic is currently located.

The issues of concern by members of SGNA generally involve traffic impacts from the new store on both Keubler Blvd traffic and south Salem residents in general. However, says Mike Hughes, a SGNA board member, ”the whole idea of the special meeting Tuesday is to find out how people feel and what they want to do about it.”

During a series of contentious city council meetings in 2006 and 2007, the City changed the zoning of the area to commercial development, but this was understood to be in support of a neighborhood shopping center – not a Big Box store like Costco.

The existing Costco on Mission is about 143,000 sf and has an attached gas station. Neighbors on June 5 would discuss whether the south Salem infrastructure can support a probable 160,000 sf building and gas station on roads designed for 45 mph speed.

A follow up vote will probably be taken at SGNA’s regular meeting on June 14 to find out what neighbors feel should happen.

Pac Trust, the owners of the land, has rescheduled their own open house, probably to 6:30 on June 19th. It will likely be held at Salem Audiology, 2521 Boone Rd.  SE – but no official notice had been posted by the time Salem Weekly went to print.