Plans dropped for new pharmacy on west side of Highway 305

Owners of the Chevron gas station on High School Road have abandoned plans to build a 24-hour pharmacy on land at a busy corner next to Highway 305.

Velmeir Companies, a Michigan-based development company that builds CVS Pharmacy stores and other retail centers, met with city of Bainbridge Island officials last summer to talk about plans for a 12,500-square-foot, 24-hour pharmacy on the southwest corner of Highway 305 that's currently occupied by a Chevron gas station.

Lance Odermat of Car Wash Enterprises, Inc. of Seattle, the owners of the property, said the company has dropped its plan to build a pharmacy on the lot at the corner of High School Road and Highway 305.

The Chevron property will stay as-is, he said.

"There are no plans for a pharmacy at the site, nor are there any pending development plans whatsoever," Odermat said in an email to the Review.

Bainbridge has been consumed by controversy over a proposed drugstore and retail center next to Highway 305 at High School Road over the past year — but not the one earlier imagined by Velmeir.

Instead, on the other side of Highway 305, a 62,000-square-foot drugstore/commercial center is being developed by Visconsi, an Ohio-based developer.

Bainbridge Island Hearing Examiner Stafford Smith approved the Visconsi shopping center, which will be anchored by a Bartell Drugs store, on March 27.

The project was much opposed by many on Bainbridge Island, and a group called Islanders for Responsible Development had fought to get Smith to overturn the city's environmental preview of the proposal and reject the site plan for the project.

Islanders for Responsible Development said the Visconsi development would bring new businesses to the island that would compete with established downtown businesses, was out of scale with the zoning for the site, and would worsen traffic.

City officials, however, said the plans for the shopping center fit with city regulations and the zoning for the property, and Smith agreed.



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