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Proposed Dunkin’ Donuts site draws criticism

Published: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 11:44 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 7:12 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – Two people, a resident and a business owner, on Tuesday expressed concerns about a Dunkin’ Donuts site planned for the city’s east side.

Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees Karim Khoja and Tom Thiem plan to open a Dunkin’ Donuts at 2701 E. Main St., the former site of a Qdoba restaurant. They went before the Plan Commission to request for their business a drive-thru facility stacking space reduction, which refers to the space needed for cars waiting in the drive-thru.

St. Charles resident Carol Bayer questioned the accessibility of the site for buses that need to drop off riders in wheelchairs. She also addressed the franchisees’ lack of contact with St. Charles Toyota, the business directly west of the proposed site.

Dennis Alf, who owns the Toyota dealership with his sons, was at Tuesday’s commission meeting. He talked about how customers of nearby stores have used the private drive that is situated between the dealership and the future Dunkin’ Donuts site.

“I’m concerned that the road would be a more prevalent deal when we have a drive-up [business],” he said.

Khoja said Tuesday’s meeting was the first time he had heard about the issue with the drive.

He gave his business card to Alf and invited him to talk further, which they actually started doing during the meeting as Plan Commission members discussed other aspects of the site.

The Commission ultimately voted unanimously to recommend approval of the stacking space reduction, with the condition that the franchisees include signage to encourage movement to a signalized exit (not the private drive) to the east and to add one more stacking space at the site than what the franchisee proposed.

The request will next go before the Planning and Development Committee in June.

Khoja and Thiem also are the franchisees behind a Dunkin’ Donuts proposed for the former Goody’s restaurant site, located at 2057 Lincoln Highway in St. Charles. Their stores would be the second and third Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in St. Charles after the 1711 W. Main St. location.

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