A lawsuit filed by local food and retail union members against Bozeman and WinCo Foods has been dismissed, clearing a hurdle for the grocery chain to build in the city.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local-4 Union and a handful of workers filed the complaint at the beginning of the year. It alleged the city commission’s approval of the grocery store violated its city code and growth policy, and the union members’ right to provide input on the matter.

Gallatin County District Judge Holly Brown earlier this month ruled that union members don’t having standing in the complaint because they don’t live in the area of the proposed grocery store. The chain wants to build a store between Staples and Cattail Street, west of 19th Avenue.

Brown also wrote that the union’s argument that the city commission didn’t hear their complaints is unsupported.

Attorneys for all parties did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Brown responded to the union’s claims that the new supermarket could depress wages at other grocery stores in the city. She said zoning laws don’t protect competition.

The union also raised concerns about an increase in traffic that would affect other grocery store employees’ commutes. Brown said that traffic is not specific to the people involved in the lawsuit, again raising the issue of where they live, and cannot be used as standing in the complaint.

“Montana law establishes that concern over traffic can only provide standing to landowners who reside next to a proposed project,” Brown said.

WinCo is an employee-owned supermarket based in Boise, Idaho. Its employees aren’t unionized. The chain has stores scattered across the West Coast and in Texas.

The dismissal of the lawsuit comes after nearly four years of back and forth of the supermarket trying to open its doors in Bozeman. In 2016, WinCo dropped plans to open a Bozeman location after running into conflicts with the city’s building requirements.

A year later, it tried again. Its latest designs included a building with tin-panel siding paired with red and stained-wood accents.

Union members appealed the Bozeman City Commission’s approval of WinCo in November 2018. The city could have dismissed the appeal because it was received after the public comment period had expired, but commissioners heard arguments at a November meeting. The commission upheld its approval.

Marty Matsen, with the city’s planning department, said the site plan for the store has been approved and WinCo just needs to get its building permit to start construction.

“They don’t have anymore hoops to jump through from us,” he said.

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