Town planners OK Chipotle drive-thru

BRIAN QUINN/DAILY NEWSA drive-thru will be added to this Veterans Memorial Drive building as preparation for a proposed Chipotle Mexican Grill moves along.

BATAVIA — The Town of Batavia Planning Board has given a thumbs-up to the drive-thru for a proposed Chipotle Mexican Grill on Veterans Memorial Drive.

COR Veterans Memorial Drive Company, LLC,, applied for the permit, which the board approved Tuesday.

Town of Batavia Fire Inspector and Zoning Ordinance Compliance Officer Matthew Mahaney said the department didn’t have any issues with the permit application.

“It also requires us to look at the drive-thru aspect of what they’re proposing. A drive-thru within a commercial district does require a special use permit as well,” Mahaney said. “After reviewing this application and what has been submitted, the Building and Zoning Department finds that all the criteria in regards to the special use permit have been met.”

When the board began discussing the application, board Chair Kathy Jasinski noted Chipotle Mexican Grill “seems to be a favorite of everybody.”

Town Engineer Steve Mountain said the drive-thru would be on the northwest side of the building at 4234 Veterans Memorial Dr.

“There’s a few engineering issues that we’ll have to work through, but from a site plan, I don’t see any issues at all with it,” Mountain said.

Asked if he felt it was OK for COR to have the drive-thru put in, Mountain said, “We’re just going to make sure of some of the safety issues with the traffic, make sure everything’s designed accordingly.”

Board member Paul Marchese asked about the safety issues.

“Pedestrian traffic — we just want to make sure proper signage (at) any crosswalks, things like that. That’s really the only issue,” Mountain said.

Mountain said the drive-thru will be on the northwest side.

“They’ve got room for five cars to stack,” he said.

Marchese made a motion to approve the special use permit. Alternative member Brooks Hawley seconded the motion and the board approved it 6-0.

“I’ve been over in that area and it’s a pretty small parking lot. How are the cars going to be lined up for the drive-thru?” Hawley asked.

Jasinski said she looked at the site.

“I agree, Brooks, it looks small, but, I don’t know, somehow people get into where they want to go — as long as we’re (the board) careful,” she said.

The question of how many vehicles would go through the drive-thru in an hour, or a day was asked. Jasinski said she hadn’t seen any information on that.

“I can imagine it would be pretty busy during lunch and dinnertime,” Hawley said, noting there are lots of parking spots.

Marchese said, “I think also, you’re limiting yourself to where it is. It’s on the west end of town. From a business perspective, if you’re downtown, you’re probably not going to drive 15 minutes to go get something to eat, by the time your lunch hour is done.”

Jasinski noted no one from COR Veterans attended the Zoom meeting Tuesday.

“I’m disappointed someone from COR didn’t come to the meeting, because we always like that,” she said, adding, “I hate to hold them up in their building, either.”

Mountain said he was surprised that no one from COR attended the meeting.

Building Inspector Dan Lang said Wednesday that he didn’t have specific details on the proposed Chipotle restaurant, but said it will only use the existing space available. He said the department is reviewing construction drawings.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1