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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    10

    city planning says no to drive thrus - HELP!

    Good Morning,

    The 'City' has decided to perform a major revision to the city planning and zoning regulation. As with most entities I welcome reviews of regulations as they are needed. Normally I wouldn't even give this much thought as I am not a landlord, and as a matter of fact I don't even live in the city (work here and live just outside of the city).

    This is a city that has a university (26,000 students) and a population base of 40,000.

    I am not sure why this was brought to my attention, but it was and now I am very concerned, especially since I will be opening a drive thru espresso bar(s) in the very near future.

    The city has decided to not permit stand alone drive thrus of any kind in the city. They will allow drive thrus as part of a sit down restaurant but only in certain areas. As normal, they will grandfather this regulation.

    My question and request for assistance....Give me your best experiences and reasons to incorporate in a letter and present it to the city to argue the new regulation of not allowing new drive thrus. I have asked our council members why, but politics is not my strength.

    Give me all the information I can use to allow stand alone drive thru espresso bars in the city. I want to draft a letter with facts and information as to why this is a bad decision.

    Thanks,
    RadarRick

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    22
    Will they allow "stand-alone" ATMs?

    What is the exact issue? Is it building codes, or traffic, or some big chain putting pressure on the city council to limit competition bu making it more expensive to startup?

    Do you plan to speak at the city council meetings? I think you should. I know you said politics was not your thing. Perhaps a formal petition with a few hundred signatures would enable you to get your viewpoint heard.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    10
    I believe the issue is the 'temporary looking' type buildings. Whether it's a 'contractor type' trailer, or an out building made of wood like a "Lowes' style building, I think they want a more permanent and esthetically pleasing building.

    I have asked several questions and asked for a detailed opinion, so I am not really sure at this time.

    I just thought that I would get all the information I could, along with all the others before me, and rally the troops and make our case.

    Keep the suggestions coming.

    Thanks,
    RadarRick

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Syracuse NY
    Posts
    74
    Make it large enough to have two tiny cafe tables inside with a couple chairs and a compact counter that separates that area from the espresso prep area. It migh t get you around the regulation but could also open up other issues such as being forced to have handicap accessible access and a bathroom.

    I think you're better off to have a really cool aesthetically pleasing structure and apply for a zoning variance.
    Owen O'Neill
    Syracuse NY

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Seattle,Washington USA
    Posts
    874
    All good ideas. RR how many free standing drive thrus are in the area now? Get a radius, take a few digitals & make a brief presentation & make it look professional (MS Word). Get a little info about each existing drive thru (if there are any) & compile all of this and give it a shot at the next council meeting. See what kind of response you get. After that then taylor your presentation based on that response and try it again. Just another take
    "A Word of Difference"TM

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    8
    I am having a similar issue in the city I would like to open a drive-thru in. They recently amended an ordinance requiring all businesses with a drive-thru window to apply for a Specific Use Permit. $750 filing fee and I will have to make some kind of present my business. Letters will be sent by the city to residences and businesses within 400 ft. of where I will be located. Any recommendations for going through this process? What specific points do I need to make?

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    192
    I recommend having a solid Presentation Business Plan to show potential landlords and investors. Also having a consulting company or other expert help will often help people see that you are serious.

    In many parts of the US the Drive-Thru market is in it's infant years. Here on the west coast they are everywhere now. I do remember about 12 years ago we proposed the opening of the first drive thru in our city. No one quite understood the concept and the landlord/city refused our application ... one year later the landlord himself opened a drive thru on the same lot and it has been one of the highest profit locations out of the 40+ DT's in our our city.

    I realize there is red tape everywhere in many counties ... find a great local commercial realtor that LOVES your concept.
    Bellissimo Coffee InfoGroup
    American Barista & Coffee School
    Expert Coffee Business Consulting, On-site or Espresso Lab Professional Barista Training!
    800.655.3955

 

 

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