The planning commission members looked out at an unusual sight at Tuesday night’s meeting: a full house.

Residents turned out to get details on the proposed Hy-Vee grocery store that would be built in the Vermillion River Crossing development just west of the McDonalds on Hwy. 50.

“We’re all excited,” said Jack Wiebke, a resident at the senior housing facility across the street from the prospective site. “I’ll go over there and throw a shovel full of dirt myself.”

Hy-Vee representative Randy Downs urged patience. The company has not even purchased the property yet.

“No specific timeline has been established yet by the executive committee,” he said. “In a normal process, we would be three to five years ahead of building.”

After a decade of no activity in the development, commission chairman Dirk Rotty was optimistic.

“I don’t see how we can lose going into this,” he said. “I will support this 100 percent.”

The purpose of the meeting was to present the plans, allow public comment and to approve the final plats of the building. The commission will submit its recommendation to approve the plans to the city council.

The proposed 57,000 square foot supermarket would have the typical grocery store departments including produce, bakery, delicatessen, meat, dairy and general groceries. Other departments would include general merchandise, health and beauty, organic, pharmacy, seafood, food service, floral, pet care, postal service and dry cleaning.

To compare, the recently built Hy-Vee on Pilot Knob in Lakeville is 96,000 square feet, so Farmington’s store would be smaller.

The store’s pharmacy will have a drive-up lane and possibly include a clinic space.

The kitchen department will offer prepared foods available for on-site consumption in a casual dining area or packaged to go.

The plans also show the possibility of a wine and spirits retail space in the northwest corner of the building.

The supermarket is typically opened 24 hours a day. A Hy-Vee store of this size will have about 400 employees.

A proposed convenience store with a gas station, car wash and coffee shop would be built in front of the grocery store facing Hwy. 50, directly across from the McDonald’s.

The picture of a Starbucks on the site plan where the coffee shop would be got some folks excited.

Tony Wippler, city planning manager, tried not to get hopes up too high.

“There’s no guarantee that that’s what would go there, but there is a coffee shop attached,” he said.

Residents and commission members were concerned about the increase of traffic and asked about the county putting in a stoplight by the McDonald’s.

Wippler said that is doubtful, since it would be too close to the stoplight at Denmark Avenue.

He added that the county would probably prefer using the Eaton Ave. intersection west of the property as an access point in the future.

Commission member Jerry Rich tried to temper his excitement. “We’re all enthusiastic,” he said, cautioning that “it’s not a done-deal.”

Nevertheless, when the commission unanimously approved the plans, the audience broke out in applause.