Residents, business owner concerned over proposal for new Dunkin’ Donuts

Staff report

Increased traffic and noise were among the concerns cited by a handful of residents and a business owner last week over a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant on Telegraph Road.

The county Planning Commission is considering a request for a conditional-use permit to construct the restaurant, with a drive-through window, at 4220 Telegraph Road in the Telegraph South Center.

Plans call for the demolition of the existing Jazzercise studio at the north end of the center to make way for the roughly 2,000 square-foot stand-alone restaurant.

The building would be situated 250 feet south of Golden Valley Drive and would abut houses in the Birchwood Estates subdivision. Those properties sit roughly 30 feet above the retail center and shouldn’t be disturbed by vehicle headlights or other light coming from the restaurant, said Brandon Harp of Civil Engineering and Design Consultants, representing the petitioner at a public hearing last week.

The restaurant would have indoor and outdoor seating and likely would be open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, Harp said.

However, subdivision residents told the commission they were worried about noise from idling vehicle engines and the loudspeaker in the drive-through drifting into their neighborhood. They also contended the increased traffic generated by the business would further complicate turning in and out of their subdivision onto Telegraph Road, especially during the morning rush hour.

In addition, Andre’s South Banquet Center owner John Armengol said parking may become an issue on days his business hosts wedding receptions or other events.

The banquet facility, located just east of the proposed Dunkin’ Donuts in the shopping center, uses as many as 260 parking spaces for guests, depending on the event, Armengol said.

Harp estimated 30 parking spaces would be lost to building the Dunkin’ Donuts but said the lot still would have more than 330 spaces once the project is completed. As for residents’ concerns about traffic, Harp contended most restaurant customers will be traveling northbound on Telegraph Road to Interstate 270, meaning left turns in and out of the shopping center will be minimal.

The commission took no action last week on the CUP request. It will vote on whether to recommend approval or denial of the proposal to the County Council at a future executive session.