Gasoline sales are coming to Missoula’s Rosauers supermarket after the company appeased City Council members with design improvements and promises of more work on the parking lot’s safety and flow.

Rosauers officials expected approval of their request for 10 gas pumps in the grocery store’s parking lot at South Avenue and Reserve Street in mid-November.

But council members had enough questions and concerns about the traffic flow on South Avenue, South Reserve and in the store’s parking lot that the conditional use request went back to committee.

This week, it returned to the full council with accolades and approval for Rosauers.

“I really feel like we made good strides in improving this project,” said Ward 4 Councilman John DiBari.

There’s still work to be done on improving the safety of the parking lot, he added, “and Rosauers needs to understand that there are problems.”

In fact, Ward 4 Councilman Jon Wilkins voted against the request because of his concerns for pedestrian safety in the parking lot. And motorists face a very dangerous proposition in pulling out of Rosauers onto Reserve Street, he added.

During the month following their first time before City Council, Rosauers officials agreed to make these changes in their plan:

  • More landscaping will be provided on the outer edges of the parking lot, particularly along South Avenue – closest to where the island of fuel pumps will be located. Along South, the landscaping will be 20-feet deep.
  • The design of the gasoline and fuel sales canopy shall include masonry at the canopy support columns and color similar to the existing Rosauers structure.
  • The design of the gasoline and fuel sales canopy shall include muted exterior lighting in compliance with the Missoula Outdoor Lighting Ordinance (without neon outlining building and canopy design elements).
  • No signage will be neon.
  • There will be on advertising or other displays above the gas pumps.
  • Wall signage on the Rosauers building shall not include advertising for the oil company brand.
  • Signage on the fuel sales canopy shall be limited to one sign on the short end of the canopy facing Reserve Street, that may be internally lit, and shall not exceed a maximum of 12 square feet in area.
  • Parking lot landscape islands will be located on the western end of each parking lot row in order to distinguish between drive aisles and parking rows.

Ward 1 Councilman Bryan von Lossberg thanked Rosauers for its willingness to modify plans for the parking lot, and said the final version “represents a dramatic improvement.”

In fact, he said, the parking lot will be better post-gas pumps than it is now.