KNAPPA — A local family has purchased the property in Knappa once proposed for a Dollar General store, with ideas for a laundromat or an RV park.
The lot at the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 30 and Hillcrest Loop was recently sold by Rod Zweber to Sandhu & Brar, a company owned by Tek Sandhu, Govrdan Singh and Gurdev Singh.
The property, most recently the Hwy 30 Roadhouse, has hosted several restaurants but has long sat vacant.
Cross Development had applied to build a 9,100-square-foot store at the site for Dollar General, more than twice the size of what is usually allowed in Clatsop County’s Rural Community Commercial — Light Industrial zones. They argued the larger store size was necessary to create an economy of scale.
County staff and planning commissioners found a larger Dollar General would fail to meet several criteria in the zones, such as supporting existing businesses, contributing to the community’s identity and providing necessary services for the surrounding community. The proposal was denied by the county Board of Commissioners in October and not appealed.
Sundeep Sandhu, Tek Sandhu’s son, said the family doesn’t have any immediate plans for the property, which sits across the highway from their convenience store and Chevron gas station, Knappa Market. The family owns similar markets and gas stations in Astoria, Seaside and Vernonia, along with Washington state locations in Chinook and Long Beach.
“We thought it was a good investment, and that we could do something good for the community,” Sundeep Sandhu said of the new property.
Along with a possible RV park or laundromat, the family is looking into whether the Knappa School District could have use for the property, or whether it could be something else the community doesn’t already offer, he said.
The county has received no new applications for the property. Almost any use in the rural commercial and industrial zone is conditional on county approval, said Julie Decker, the county planning manager. A laundromat would require a public notice, while an RV park would require a public hearing.