There will be a new place to grab coffee in town, since the planning board last week approved a site plan and special use permit for Jeremiah Burke to build a Dunkin' Donuts on Church Avenue.
This has been almost a two-year endeavor for Burke, who started the planning for the project in July 2004. Since then, the project has gone through many changes to accommodate the requirements of the planning and zoning boards.
At the June 28 meeting, members of the planning board and town residents were concerned about the traffic, especially from the planned drive-through, how the building was going to be shielded from nearby residents, and sidewalks.
Burke's attorney Peter Lynch and project engineer Gary Robinson both presented Burke's plans to the board. Lynch said all of the changes were made to the project except for an additional sidewalk that had been requested at the last meeting on May 31.
Lynch said building 750 feet of sidewalk on Route 50 south of Martin Avenue would cost about $60,000, because of grading issues that would force the project to be built on private property.
Planning board member Joan Eddy felt very strongly that a sidewalk should be put in place. She said a lot of people will be walking to the building, and the safety of the citizens should be considered.
This is good community service and in the grand scheme of things, it is the cost of doing business, Eddy said.
Planning board Attorney Peter Reilly said the board could not make Burke build a sidewalk on property that does not belong to him.
The planning board was also concerned about shielding the building from the neighboring residents. Members wanted Burke to plant 6-foot shrubs every 4 feet around three sides of the property.
Traffic was a big issue with town residents and members of the board. Planning Board member Richard Doyle said he was concerned that many people would be making a left turn onto Church Avenue from the property, which would cause traffic problems. He said even if there was a sign, people would still make a left turn.