The Planning & Zoning Commission last week approved a proposal from Dunkin Donuts to move from its current location on Elm Street down to the intersection at South Avenue.
P&Z during a regular meeting held June 28 voted 9-0 in favor of a site plan application for 44 Elm St., former site of the CBD Store.
The new location will double the coffee shop’s space in a newly designed interior with windows overlooking two streets, according to Jim Cain, representing the applicant.
“Basically just continue 25 years of awesome service in the town of New Canaan which we’ve had the pleasure of doing business there,” Cain told members of P&Z.
Commission Chair John Goodwin, Secretary Krista Neilson and members Kent Turner, Dick Ward, John Kriz, Claire Tiscornia, John Engel, James Basch and Paul Knag voted in favor of the application. Commissioners Dan Radman, Arthur Casevant and Chris Hering were absent.
P&Z members asked Cain and owner’s rep Paul Stone what happened to plans to move across Elm to a commercial space next to the Playhouse (there was a need to increase the power capability there which scuttled that plan), what will happen with mezzanine level that had been in the CBD Store (it will be demolished), whether the basement will be open to the public (no), whether the fit-out will be ADA-compliant (yes), how the exterior door to South Avenue will be used (for deliveries), whether customers will use that door (no customers will come and go from Elm Street), what sort of illumination will be used (it will conform to the Planning & Zoning Regulations), whether there will be outdoor seating (that will be planned in the future) and how the store will get rid of its garbage (there will be multiple pickups during the day by way of the South Avenue door).
Commissioners also urged Cain to use tasteful sandwich boards and ensure the area around the store is clean.
It wasn’t immediately clear just how quickly the interior prep work would get done or when Dunkin Donuts is expected to make the move.
Engel asked whether anyone had studied anticipated traffic patterns on Elm Street as a result of the move of Dunkin Donuts, “one of the most visited stores in the entire downtown.”
“I just suspect we will be having more cars coming from two directions to Dunkin Donuts as opposed to one as a result of this move,” Engel said.
Goodwin answer that he was certain a traffic study hadn’t been done given that the applicant was making a site plan application, and that it will be “interesting to see what happens, but of the site plan we just have to wait and see.”