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WinCo now closer to adding Bozeman location

The north side of Bozeman will benefit from a grocery store in this location

WinCo now closer to adding Bozeman location
By Melissa Loveridge Chronicle Staff Writer 17 hrs ago

With a major obstacle out of the way, WinCo Foods is one step closer to opening a Bozeman location.

Last week, the Montana Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by a several workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local-4 Union against the city of Bozeman for upholding a city commission decision to approve of the WinCo. A Supreme Court filing said the reason for the dismissal was that a preliminary settlement had been reached between the parties. No details of that settlement have been released.

An application for the store has been filed with the city of Bozeman’s building department, but no permits have been created yet. The store is proposed to be on a lot near the intersection of Max Avenue and Cattail Street on the north end of Bozeman, not far from Target.

WinCo, an employee-owned company based in Boise, has had several false starts in Bozeman. In April 2016, the company was considering a 85,000-square-foot store in the same area, but dropped those plans later that year over city building and architecture requirements.

It submitted an informal application in October 2017 for a 75,000-square-foot store. It submitted formal plans in August 2018.

Those plans were approved by the city that month but appealed by a group of grocery employees and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local-4 Union who said the store would increase traffic and put their jobs at risk. The plans then went in front of the Bozeman City Commission, which upheld the decision in November 2018.

The union then filed a lawsuit agains the city of Bozeman in January 2019. Gallatin County District Judge Holly Brown ruled in October of that year that the union members didn’t have a standing in the case because they didn’t live in the proposed area, and because city zoning laws don’t protect against commercial competition.

In December, the group appealed Brown’s decision to the Montana Supreme Court.

Lawyers for all parties and WinCo’s corporate office have not responded to requests for comment.

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