Bridgewater Zoning Board Weighs in on Starbucks Drive-Thru Proposal

The Bridgewater Zoning Board recently convened to deliberate on a proposed Starbucks drive-thru, which garnered attention due to its potential impact on local traffic, the environment, and community aesthetics. The meeting featured discussions on the site plan, drive-thru efficiency, lighting, and signage for the new establishment.

A focal point of the meeting was the functionality and layout of the Starbucks drive-thru. Concerns were raised over the traffic flow and safety, with particular emphasis on the stacking of cars and the adequacy of space for vehicles to maneuver without causing congestion. The necessity for additional signage to direct vehicles towards the entrance off of Route 22 was brought to the table, as well as the debate over the inclusion of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at the location. The applicant acknowledged the need for EV infrastructure and proposed solutions to enhance the drive-thru’s efficiency.

The discussion extended to the building’s aesthetics, including the design, materials, and signage. The board scrutinized the east and west elevations and questioned the number and placement of logos and signs, especially on the less visible sides of the building. The utilitarian appearance of the backside, which faces a hotel, was noted, along with the desire for screening of rooftop equipment. The absence of cooking equipment in the building and the type of mechanical rooftop equipment were mentioned, as well as integrated lighting under the canopy. However, questions about security lighting operation remained not fully addressed.

Lighting fixtures were also a significant topic, with the board and public expressing concerns about the impact on neighboring residences and safety in the parking lot area. The purpose and design of the lighting plan led to a debate, with some board members advocating for reconsideration to soften the architectural impact and ensure the well-being of local residents. The civil engineer was expected to address these concerns further.

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Landscaping and parking considerations were discussed, with the board inquiring about the number of plants and the potential of integrating more evergreens to enhance the site’s coverage. Overparking and stormwater management were addressed, with a focus on reducing excess coverage and adhering to environmental regulations. The impact of the adjacent hotel construction on the site design was clarified.

Public comments shed light on traffic, exhaust fumes, and the number of entrances and exits to the drive-thru. Concerns over potential congestion and the impact on the surrounding community led to discussions about traffic analyses and the compliance with regulations. The presence of electric vehicle spaces was confirmed, and the color of signage and solutions for preventing cars from blocking areas were considered.

Access from Morgan Lane to the property was a issue, with a resident highlighting the problem of illegal turns. This concern harkened back to a design agreed upon nearly a decade ago, necessitating careful consideration of any changes due to the implications for the hotel and restaurant on the property. The history of access on Morgan Lane was reviewed, dating back to the construction of Hul Hands in the late 1990s or early 2000s, emphasizing the need for a thorough evaluation of the current plan’s impact.

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Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Mayor:
Matthew Moench
Zoning Board Officials:

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