The Lowe’s home improvement chain has submitted preliminary paperwork to build a store on the north side of Poway Road that would replace two auto dealerships.
The first-draft plot plan shows a 120,000-square-foot store on 11 acres occupied by the Poway Toyota and the former Poway Chevrolet dealerships. Plans also call for a 30,000-square-foot outdoor garden center and a 4,500-square-foot fast-food restaurant pad with a drive-through window.
According to the plot plan, the store would be directly east of the Stein Mart store and existing retail shops. There are apartments and open space on the north side and both single-family homes and apartments on the lot’s east side.
Lowe’s proposes the main driveway to be across from Gate Drive and traffic lights at that intersection.
The city and several Poway Road property owners have been in extended
negotiations which, if successful, would facilitate the Toyota
dealership being moved to acreage on the south side of Poway Road that
was formerly leased to now-defunct Dodge and Chrysler-Jeep dealerships.
The closed-door talks are reportedly ongoing and have not been
concluded. The subject may be a part of the June 1 City Council meeting.
City Manager Penny Riley said Friday a preliminary staff review of the site plan has raised several concerns, including the lack of required setbacks and landscaping.
Riley said that Lowe’s submission could impact and delay the preparation of the draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed expansion of the Poway Walmart store. She said Walmart wants the city-hired consultant to include project traffic generation estimates of the Lowe’s store into its report. As a result, Riley said, the draft EIR, initially scheduled for release last month, may not be ready for public review until “late summer.” It is unclear at this point whether a final vote on the Walmart expansion will occur prior to the Nov. 2 City Council election, she said.
Riley said the 11 acres eyed by Lowe’s is appropriately zoned for commercial use and that the project would require no special permits. Yet to be determined, she said, is whether the plans will require a full EIR. She noted that Walmart officials specifically requested a full EIR be prepared on the store expansion.
Lowe’s has for several years expressed interest in building a store in Poway, but not in the business park, where rival Home Depot has a store.
The city would welcome a Lowe’s home improvement store and its additional sales taxes, which would be placed into the city’s general fund to help pay for city operations, Riley said. If approved, the store is expected to create about 170 jobs, according to Riley.
She said the city considers Lowe’s to be “complementary” rather than competitive to the Home Depot and Dixieline stores in town.
The closest Lowe’s stores are in Escondido and Mission Valley.