A proposal to add a drive-through window to increase business at an existing Dunkin’ Donuts shop was opposed by nearby residents during a public hearing Monday before the Cheektowaga Town Board.
Franchisee Timothy E. Cloe is seeking a special-use permit, and related variances, to add a drive-through window, with space for six waiting vehicles, at his shop at 4395 Union Road. It’s located on the block between Genesee Street and Maryvale Drive – on which the Maryvale School District campus is located.
Cloe also wants to have that property and the adjacent parcel at 4347 Union, which he is under contract to buy, rezoned for retail business. Both currently are zoned for residential use but have established commercial operations on them.
Plans also call for eliminating the existing driveway to Dunkin’ Donuts, which is a short distance from the Maryvale Drive intersection.
Several people who live on the block, which has less than a dozen homes, spoke Monday.
“I am worried about the fumes. I am worried about the traffic right in front of my house,” said Rosalie Heppel. She was among residents who cited the large amount of pedestrian traffic in the area – particularly children heading to school.
“It’s very hard to get out of our driveways,” said Kenneth Fracchia. “Whatever problems we have now with traffic is just going to get worse.”
Attorney Sean Hopkins, who represents Cloe, said an alternative may be adding additional “stacking” space for waiting vehicles by partially demolishing 4347 Union and routing traffic behind it.
But that proposal concerned Dr. Robert Chmiel, a dentist whose office is at 4343 Union – immediately south of the parcel under contract. “I’m wondering how the traffic will be affected as patients are trying to come into my office,” he said.
Hopkins initially said a traffic study would be conducted at least a year after the drive-through line opens. Town officials and residents urged that it be done sooner.
“You’re going to have to give us more information,” Councilman Stanley Kaznowski said. “You’re not going to jam up Union Road on us.”
Hopkins said that if the shop can’t get a drive-through lane, the deal to buy 4347 Union would fall apart and the Dunkin’ Donuts shop likely would close, putting approximately eight people out of work.
Jennifer Chojecki, one of the owners of 4347 Union, said: “I don’t want to have a vacant building next to me. I don’t want people out of work.”
While the Town Board didn’t take any action on those requests Monday night, it did approve others related to a drive-through restaurant proposed for 2563 Union.
The site plan, special-use permit and variance for Checkers Restaurant were approved, with conditions to minimize potential disturbances to a residential property next door.