Customer-vehicle-flow analysis sought for planned Dutch Brothers Coffee Shop

Dutch Brothers Coffee Shop is planned near the northeast corner of Ellsworth and Queen Creek roads. (Town of Queen Creek)

A traffic analysis for the flow and stacking of vehicles at a planned Dutch Brothers Coffee Shop needs to be provided before a conditional use permit and site plan are considered, the Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission decided.

Matthew Rasmussen of Tectonics Design Group is seeking the permit and site plan to allow construction of a new coffee shop with a drive-thru within the Shops at Terravella, near the northeast corner of Ellsworth and Queen Creek roads.

The commission voted 6-0 on Feb. 13, with Vice Chairman Josh Ehmke absent, to continue discussion to the 6 p.m. March 13 meeting in the Queen Creek Community Chambers, 20727 E. Civic Parkway.

The item is to be discussed at the April 3 Queen Creek Town Council meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the same location with public hearings held after 7 p.m.

“I’ve seen other Dutch Brothers where it does block the parking. It just comes out and that’s just how. People know when they go to Dutch Brothers that it’s going to cause an issue,” Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Shaine Alleman said at the Feb. 13 meeting.

“I think all of us want a Dutch Brothers here in Queen Creek. And a lot of other citizens. We want it to be here. For me, it’s not really an issue — stacking around the property. It’s the issue if it’s coming out and it’s going to cause issues for Queen Creek (Road), because that’s a busy road and it’s going to get busier with the additional residential that’s being added there,” he said.

The 823-square-foot building on a .69-acre site will have no inside seating, Steven Ester, town planner I, said to the commission.

“There is no indoor seating or service that is provided, so it’s all either at the window ordered or drive-thru,” he said.
The town’s zoning ordinance requires 17 parking spaces and 160 feet of queuing distance, Mr. Ester said.

“This location actually features 211 (feet), with an escape lane, to try and accommodate that higher use that Dutch Brothers Coffee Shops see,” he said.

Ten to 11 cars would be stacking in the drive-thru line at peak times, Bill Cantieri, Piazza Restaurant Development Consultants, representing Dutch Brothers, said to the commission.

An escape lane will help reduce waiting times if people in the back of the line order something easy to prepare, he said.
“What will happen is, the runner — because they’ve already prepaid — the runner runs out the door, passes the drink to that car, which allows them to exit, to pull out into this escape lane and pull out. That has enabled us to — in a lot of cases — reduce the order time down to a minute per car and in some cases less,” Mr. Cantieri said.

Chairman Alleman asked if a traffic analysis had been done on the flow of vehicles and how they would stack.

Mohamed Youssef

Mohamed Youssef, traffic engineer, said the town has received a traffic analysis for the entire shopping center, but not one requested for the addition of a Dutch Brothers.

“Now we know the specific — we know that Dutch Brothers is coming — we asked them right away for an updated traffic-impact analysis because that changes the whole dynamic of traffic. And they haven’t submitted that yet to us,” Mr. Youssef said.

Mr. Alleman says it’s hard to support the project when he doesn’t have the information.

“If the information was there and the analysis was there and it said, you know what, under the circumstances we know these many cars will come through, and we’ve got enough stacking to provide this many cars — it covers the car stacking that is shown in this analysis — then I think it would be easier… But right now it’s hard without that information,” he said.

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