May 7th, 2023
By Patricia A. Scheyer
Ft Wright City Council voted to allow CAO Jill Cain Bailey to send an application to PDS for a text change to the zone in Ft Wright where entrepreneur Gary Holland wants to locate the newest Dunkin’ Donuts.
The new Dunkin’ Donuts will be located on Dixie Highway, across from the Walgreens that sits on the corner of Kyles Lane. For local people, it will be where the old Sub Station II’s location, which is said to be the most memorable place that existed there.
Holland came to the meeting this week, along with Jay Bayer, of Bayer, Becker Civil Engineers to answer questions related to the new venture.
The design of the new, drive through only Dunkin’ Donuts doesn’t fit exactly in the zoning code of Ft. Wright because the city has not yet adopted the Planning Commission’s Z21 code. It is a permitted use, and Holland could have gone ahead with plans, but he wanted to have everything just right.
“There will be dual drive throughs,” said Bailey. “But there will be no inside dining, and no walk up window.”
Some of the council members asked how many cars can be stacked in the drive throughs, and Holland answered that there is comfortably room for 20 cars.
“The Taylor Mill Dunkin’ is extremely busy,” said Holland. “We went ahead and showed, in essence, what the busiest Dunkin’ in Northern Kentucky is doing.”
Bayer put up a chart done by Gary Holland’s staff that showed five minute increments of time along with how many cars come through the drive through line at his other location in Taylor Mill from 7:25 to 10:25 seven days a week. He highlighted peak times, which are Thursday at 8:10 am, Friday at 7:30 am, 8:10 and 8:20 am, and 10:15 on Saturday morning. The average number of cars which are stacked there during those times is 14, and the usual time afforded to each customer is 45-50 seconds. This chart was done at Taylor Mill at their peak season, which is right now.
Councilmember Margie Witt asked if the traffic dropped off after the first two weeks in business at Taylor Mill.
“I would say the first two weeks, it was pretty busy,” said Holland. “The first two weeks — and then it became normal. We saw about a 15 to 20 percent drop in sales after the first two weeks, but that is the nature of every new concept that we open typically.”
Mayor Dave Hatter was concerned about traffic coming out of the Dunkin’ Donuts and trying to turn left on Ashwood, but his fears were somewhat quieted by the information in the chart showing the peak and non-peak hours.
The only parking requirement for the zone is one parking space every 200 square feet but that is for a sit down restaurant. In the new Z21 zoning, the rule is one parking space for every 300 square feet.
PDS made a suggestion that the city could adopt only that small part of the Z21 zoning code for now. Council members thought it was a good compromise.
When it came to a vote on whether to send the application for a text amendment to PDS, only one member, Margie Witt, voted no, so the issue passed. Witt wanted to wait until the city actually adopts Z21.
Council was happy to have Holland and Bayer at the meeting to answer their questions, and were satisfied with the answers. Holland is happy to be locating one of his Dunkin’ Donuts in Ft Wright.
“One Holland is very excited to be bringing Dunkin’ to Ft Wright and the surrounding area,” he said. “We are blessed to be working with a great city government that encourages thoughtful development, and we think that Dunkin’ is a perfect fit for this site. A drive-thru coffee/donut shop definitely fills a much needed void in the community!”
Original Article: https://www.nkytribune.com/2023/05/ft-wright-approves-change-to-zone-to-allow-gary-hollands-dunkin-donuts-drive-through/