Starbucks is one step closer to opening its doors this fall.
On Monday night, the Planning Board heard from representatives of the "Medfield 467 Main LLC," which is owned by Salvatore Capital Partners LLC (which also recent purchased the Lord's building), who are seeking Site Plan Approval from the Planning Board.
Salvatore hopes to renovate the former Mobil gas station, at the corner of Main and North Streets, into a Starbucks coffee shop by September.
Monday was the first public hearing at which the board discussed the matter for more than an hour, then continued the hearing to April 1 at 8:45 p.m.
Information discussed with the engineer, Richard Merrikin, included:
- Current site is 14,300 square feet
- Former gas station building is 1,385 sf to which Salvatore proposes to add 360 sf to make a 1,745 sf building
- Would reduce the number of curb cuts from three to two (eliminating the one on North Street closest to the intersection)
- 87 percent of the current lot is paved
- Starbucks will reduce paved area to 85 percent and would add plantings
- Entrances (one on North Street and one on Main Street, both two-way) would be reduced to 24 feet wide (they are currently 40-45 feet wide)
- Proposed 21 parking spaces (down from the required 40 spaces, the matter will be heard by the ZBA); board encouraged applicant to drop to 20 spaces and designate one of the spaces near the building for delineated pedestrian access
- Outdoor patio with seating for eight is proposed
- There will be a bike rack
- Some landscaping in the front of the building
- Sewer service goes out to North Street
- Water service goes to Main Street
- Exterior lighting would be consistent with the area and would include three street lights and one on the building to light up the parking lot
- Parking lot will be entirely repaved
The Board also meet with traffic engineer Gary McNaughton regarding:
- Starbucks would add 190 additional car trips a day
- Traffic lights need to be re-timed (Chief Meaney is working on this)
- McNaughton said that for the vast majority of the time, customers can take a left-turn out of the driveways without a problem
- Looked at police department crash statistics for that intersection which showed nine car accidents in 2008, four in 2009, and five in 2010.
Also, McNaughton quoted national data regarding pass-by traffic which was not specific to Starbucks. Planning Board member Stephen Brown said, "The devil is in the details," and asked the applicant's traffic engineer to provide information specifically related to Starbucks.
Board also asked for the following:
- Safety poles in front of the patio seating
- Fill in third curb cut they are going to eliminate
- Consider asking employees to park off-sight
- Consider incorporating adjacent town pocket park into the design (as was discussed at the Downtown Study Committee in January) to encourage parking in nearby town lot
The board also expressed concern for pedestrian safety.
"If there's a lot of kids after school who want to go there, I'm concerned that there may be some hazards," said Planning Board Chairman Elissa Franco, asking for a sidewalk that lines up with the traffic light. "I'd like to see the site more pedestrian-friendly."
Police Chief Robert Meaney Jr. said,
- He is working on re-timing the lights on Main Street
- Asked applicant to consider a "stamped" sidewalk when it repaves the area
- Would consider additional "obvious" pedestrian-friendly aides (such as audible chirps)
- Montrose School does not add a lot to traffic
- Queuing on North Street (to get onto Main Street) is particularly difficult between 7:20am and 7:35am because of public school traffic
"There are going to be some times when this is not going to be the smartest place to go and get your coffee," Meaney said.