The process of getting approval for a new Dunkin' Donut's has served to make for a better plan, project engineer Kip Finley told city planners during Tuesday's meetings, where planners eventually approved or recommended approval of a series of plans and variances allowing the project to go forward.
The proposed Dunkin will be slipped in between Barrett's Batavia Marine and Five Star Bank on West Main Street, with the cooperation and blessing of those two property owners. The three properties will share driveways in and out of the location, helping traffic flow and thereby addressing one of the recurring objections to construction of the franchise store.
Finley, working on behalf of Dunkin' Donuts and franchisee Mike Mikolajczyk, who owns the current Dunkin' in the city, at West Main and Ellicott Avenue, has been hauling elevation drawings before city and county planners since September 2014, and until Tuesday's votes hadn't received much in the way of nods of approval.
The new design fits into the current environment better, Finley said. The building will be a little more residential looking and the frontage will align with Barrett's, making it more of an urban approach to aligning storefronts.
Even so, there are still residents from nearby Redfield Parkway who object to the proposed location.
"Regardless of how good the aesthetics of the building, none of the design changes will improve its location," said Nan Zorn, a Redfield resident.
The planning committee approved the site plan review and recommend to the Zoning Board of Appeals that it approve variances for the frontage, the driveways and parking.
By code, the size of the building would require 80 parking spaces, which board members agreed was a bit much.
The Burger King on West Main has 80 spaces and Finley pointed out that is way more than the drive-thru restaurant needs.
"If you go there, the front third are used, and the rest you could play basketball on," Finley said.
"There are weeds growing. It doesn't get used."
Finley's work is not done. Dunkin's new location doesn't get built if the city's ZBA doesn't approve the variances.