Just Say No To Costco

In an effort to preserve industry in Seattle, the City just passed legislation limiting the size of non-industrial uses in industrial zones. Retail uses are limited to 25,000 square feet, which is roughly half the size of a modern Safeway, and one-seventh the size of the titanic 175,000-square-foot Costco on 4th Ave S., which is in an industrial zone.

I wasn’t living in Seattle when the 4th Ave Costco was built in 1983 — but I suspect it didn’t create much controversy. Everybody loves Costco. Except me. Is it really worth that long drive to save a dollar on a box of Cheerios the size of filing cabinet? Well, that may be a matter of opinion. But here’s what’s not just a matter of opinion: Costco is contrary to a sustainable future. It’s Walmart with better employee benefits. Yet most Seattlites seem to give a big thumbs up to Costco while they deride Walmart. What gives?