city planning says no to drive thrus - HELP!

RadarRick

New member
Aug 30, 2004
10
0
West Virginia
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,
 

Polo

New member
Jun 8, 2004
22
0
Kansas
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.
 
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R

RadarRick

New member
Aug 30, 2004
10
0
West Virginia
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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,
 

phaelon56

New member
Sep 25, 2003
74
0
Syracuse NY
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.
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
0
Seattle,Washington USA
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 8)
 

ra2783

New member
Aug 30, 2004
8
0
Dallas, TX
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?
 

BaristaTrainer

New member
Oct 18, 2004
192
0
Portland, OR
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.
 

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