Everyone knows about GOD-AWFUL, idiotic idea to place a Dunkin Dounuts (like the one in the picture) on the corner of Osborne Street and Springside Ave (which will complete Eduardo Batista's desire to have a Dunkin Dounuts store in EVERY WARD IN DANBURY).
To put it in layman's terms, this proposal is nuts. I can't find one person living in the neighborhood who wants this building placed at the proposed location. Due to the increase in traffic flow, to the unsafe safety conditions, including the fact that the business would be one building away from the Melody & Halas Fire Department as well as creating a hazard for children who walk down and across Osborne to their school on Broadview, neighbors screamed foul and decided to fight back. Residents in the area held a petition drive as well as sent letters and testified in front of the planning commission during the public hearing when the building was being proposed.
In the end, due to the testimony from the public, as well as evidence presented that reinforced the point that the proposed location for the building was unsuitable for the neighborhood, the application was denied.
Here's a copy of the resolution of denial from the planning commission (PLEASE NOTE THE PORTION I HIGHLIGHTED IN BOLD).
Denial of Special Exception/Site Plan Application for SE 644 Dunkin Donuts Osborne StreetCITY OF DANBURY
155 DEER HILL AVENUE
DANBURY, CONNECTICUT 06810
PLANNING & ZONING DEPARTMENT
(203) 797-4586 (FAX)
Resolution: Dated September 15, 2006
Revised and Adopted on September 20, 2006
To: Planning Commission
From: Jennifer L. Emminger, Associate Planner
Re: SE 644
Osborne Street and Springside Avenue
Assessor's Lot # 112221
RESOLUTION OF DENIAL
Whereas the City of Danbury Planning Commission received an application on March 15, 2006 from Artel Engineering, agent for Eduardo Batista, for approval of a Special Exception/Site Plan for Dunkin Donuts, a 2,160 sq. ft. fast food restaurant with a drive-thru located at the comer of Osborne Street and Springside Avenue, and
Whereas pursuant to • 3.E.2 of the Zoning Regulations, the use is allowed as a special exception in the CG-20 Zoning District upon approval by the Planning Commission affirming that standards and conditions pertaining thereto have been met, and
Whereas the site plan, as modified by the applicant, includes a 2,160 square foot Dunkin' Donuts facility with a drive-thru, and associated driveway access, parking, landscaping and drainage improvements, and
Whereas in accordance with 9 8.7d of the Connecticut General Statutes, the Planning Commission conducted a duly advertised Public Hearing that opened on May 17,2006, continued on June 21,2006 and July 26, 2006 and closed on August 19, 2006, and
Whereas the following maps and plans have been received and reviewed by the Planning Commission and City , staff:
1.Maps under the general title "Dunkin' Donuts, Osborne Street, City of Danbury, Fairfield County, Connecticut', prepared by Artel Engineering Group, LLC:
A. Subtitled 'Cover Sheet', dated 10/13/05;
B. Subtitled 'Site Plan', dated 10/13/05-revised through 7/19/06;
C. Subtitled 'Grading and Utility Plan', dated 10/13/05-revised 6/27/06;
D. Subtitled 'Landscape and Lighting Plan', dated 1 0/13/05-revised through 7/19/06;
E. Subtitled 'Sediment & Erosion Control Plan', dated 10/13/05-revised 6/27/06;
F. Subtitled 'Site Details 1', dated 10/13/05;
G. Subtitled 'Site Details n', dated 10/13/05;
H. Subtitled 'Truck Turning Plan', dated 6/27/06
I. Subtitled 'Existing Drainage Shed', dated 10/13/05 and
J. Subtitled 'Proposed Drainage Shed', dated 10/13/05.
2. Plans under the general title "Dunkin Donuts", Prepared by James D. Smith Architects, dated 6/13/06:
A. Sheet AI0 - Subtitled 'Proposed Exterior Elevations' and
B. Sheet AII-8ubtitled 'Proposed Exterior Elevations.
3. Survey titled "Improvement Location Survey, Showing Property of Bruce J. Daab, property situated at Osborne Street and Springside Avenue", prepared by Surveying Associates, P.C., dated November 18, 2005.
4. Site Engineering Report, Prepared for Dunkin' Donuts, Osborne Street and Springside Avenue, Danbury, Connecticut, Prepared by Artel Engineering Group, LLC, dated March 2006.
5. Traffic Study, Dunkin' Donuts, Osborne Street & Springside Avenue, Danbury, Connecticut, Prepared for Artel Engineering, Prepared by Barkan & Mess Associates, dated March 14,2006.
6. Report titled "Planned Development Osborne Street, Danbury, CT, Environmental Acoustics Study", Prepared by David Taylor, dated June 2006.
7. The following documents were submitted during the Public Hearing held on May 17, 2006:
A. A petition titled "We say No to Application for Special Exception to allow Dunkin Donuts Generating 500 Cars Daily JI221 SE 644 Osborne Street" and
B. Exhibit A - Correspondence trom Beverly McCarthy, 9 Springside Avenue.
8. Photos of truck deliveries at other Dunkin Donuts facilities were submitted during the Public Hearing held on July 19,2006.
9. Correspondence received by the Planning and Zoning Department on June 6, 2006 from Patricia Tallman.
10. Correspondence received by the Planning and Zoning Department on June 6, 2006 from Valerie Bose.
Whereas, during the public hearing, the Planning Commission discussed the application, raising specific concerns regarding the proposed entrance on Springside Avenue, on site traffic circulation, off site traffic circulation, pedestrian safety, steepness of Springside Avenue at the intersection, weather conditions affecting intersection safety, compatibility with the residential neighborhood, sound, customer parking along Springside Avenue, truck deliveries, screening, landscaping and the aesthetics of the building, and
Whereas, pursuant to ~ 10.CA of the City of Danbury Zoning Regulations, no petition for a Special Exception shall be granted by the Planning Commission unless such petition is in compliance with all provisions of the Zoning Regulations.
Now therefore be it resolved that the Planning Commission of the City of Danbury does hereby deny the application by Artel Engineering for a Dunkin Donuts, SE 644, to be located at the comer of Osborne Street and Springside Avenue (Assessor's Lot # JI2221) having found that the application as submitted does not meet the additional requirements for the granting of a Special Exception per as Section 1O.C.4 of the Zoning Regulations based on the following reasons:
1. The proposal is not designed in a manner, which is compatible with the character of the neighborhood:
A. Based on evidence in the record and on individual experiences of the Planning Commission with the operation of similar facilities as proposed, the intensity of the use is not compatible with the existing neighborhood from which primary access to the site is proposed.
B. There are no reasonable requirements that could be imposed that would render the proposed use compatible with the residential neighborhood.
2. The proposal will create conditions adversely affecting traffic safety and will cause undue traffic congestion:
A. Pursuant to • 10.D.8.a. of the City of Danbury Zoning Regulations, 'all proposed uses for which a site plan is required shall provide for ingress and egress to the site which does not adversely impact the normal flow of traffic or the normal safe conditions of the roadways'. The Planning Commission has determined, based on evidence in the record and the personal experiences of the Planning Commission, that the proposed roadway improvements to Osborne Street and Springside Avenue may not adequately accommodate the increase in the volume of traffic without a significant decline in traffic safety.
B. Pursuant to • 10.D.8.b. of the City of Danbury Zoning Regulations, '....may require such reasonable improvements as may be necessary to accommodate traffic increases caused by the proposed development to maintain existing levels of service and traffic safety. Volumes will increase sufficiently to change the character of the neighborhood and the new turning movements cannot, in the Planning Commission's judgment, be accommodated into the existing traffic flows so as not to cause conditions that are unsafe.
i. According.. to the Traffic Study submitted by the applicant's traffic engineer, the proposed use expects approximately 400 vehicle trips during morning peak, of which 240 vehicles trips already exist on Osborne Street and 160 trips will be new to the area. The Traffic dictates a substantial increase in the traffic movements of the Springside Avenue westbound left and right turn lanes. According to Figures 3 and 6 of the Traffic Study, during the morning peak hour, an increase from 10 vehicular trips to 90 trips for the left turn lane is expected and an increase from 10 vehicular trips to 110 trips for the right turn lane is expected. Furthermore, the Traffic Study indicates a significant increase in the traffic movements of both of the Osborne Street northbound and southbound turn movements onto Springside Avenue. According to Figures 3 and 6 of the Traffic Study, during morning peak hour, an increase from 15 to 110 trips for the northbound right turn and an increase from 5 to 90 trips for southbound left turn is expected.
ii. Vehic1es exiting Dunkin Donuts traveling westbound to Osborne Street must exit at an un-signalized T -intersection. Due to existing and proposed traffic volumes on Osborne Street, left turn movements exiting the site into southbound traffic will prove to be difficult for motorists. Additionally, vehicles attempting a left turn onto Osborne Street will be confronted with three opposing traffic patterns at this intersection; (1) vehicles traveling northbound on Osborne Street (2) vehicles traveling southbound on Osborne Street turning left on to Springside Avenue and (3) vehicles traveling southbound on Osborne Street utilizing the proposed bypass lane.
C. The Planning Commission, based on testimony given by the neighbors and the Commission's personal knowledge of the traffic volumes and movements on Osborne Street and the immediate area, finds that with the substantial increase in new traffic movements at this intersection, the proposed roadway improvements along Osborne Street and Springside Avenue will not result in safe traffic movements for the reasons outlined in #2 above.
3. The use will jeopardize public health and safety.
A. Based on the experience of the Planning Commission with similar facilities and existing pedestrian flows in the neighborhood that is supported by testimony in the record, pedestrian traffic in the area is likely to increase and coupled with the increase in volume and conflicting traffic movements may create unsafe pedestrian conditions that may jeopardize public health and safety.
4. Given the conditions and constraints existing on Osborne Street and Springside Avenue peculiar to this site and the proposed use, the Planning Commission can find no reasonable improvements that will ensure full compliance with the provisions of Section lO.C.4.a.
cc: Sean Hearty, Zoning Enforcement Officer
George Gleason, Permit Center
Farid Khouri, Engineering Department
Abdul Mohammed, Traffic Engineer
Chief Alan Baker, City of Danbury Police Department
Barry Rickert, Fire Marshal
Fran Lollie, Highway Department
Leo Null, Building Department
Robin Edwards, Corporation Counsel
Now, if you read the portions of the resolution in bold, you'll notice that the the points raised in the denial HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SIZE OF THE DUNKIN DOUNUTS BUILDING and more to do with the VARIOUS PROBLEMS THAT WOULD RESULT IF THE BUSINESS WAS BUILT IN THE LOCATION.
Although the neighbors in the neighborhood jumped for joy, the good feeling didn't last for long.
Everyone's favorite "loophole" lawyer Neil Marcus and Batista pulled a REAL sneeky move and decreased the size of the building in order to decrease the estimated traffic from over 500 to 498. You're saying to yourself "well so what." Well, here's the deal, by decreasing the size of the building and lowering the traffic rate below the magical number of 500, Marcus was able to re-submit the building proposal by bypassing the planning commission decision. In other words, since Marcus was able to get the traffic below 500 BY TWO CARS, the Dunkin Dounut King was able to stick his tongue out to the neighborhood, resubmit his applicaiton directly to the planning department, and deny the public a chance to speak out against this proposal.
NOW, HERE'S THE REALLY SHADY PART.
All the work the public did in fighting this proposal (including the large number of letters submitted, as well as testimony) can not be used towards this new application. In fact, the public can not even be granted a public hearing on the matter because the application is submitted directly to the planning department and NOT the planning commission.
Now, you can't freak out on the people in the planning department, it's not their fault that they have to deal with this nonsense. Blame should be placed on people who can't seem to understand the term "NO" or "DENIED."
Now, the first ward I visited in my feedback campaign across the city was the third ward, which is the ward where this idiotic business is being rammed down people's throats. I talked to several neighbors on Springside Ave who are extremely upset and wanted to know if there was anything they could do to fight back. Now, although there is no public hearing on this matter, as a activist I know one thing, SUBMITTING LETTERS TO CITY HALL IS EFFECTIVE. In other words, PEOPLE NEED TO RESUBMIT THOSE LETTERS AND PRONTO!
...this is where HatCityBLOG comes in.
IF YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, THE PEOPLE AT CITY HALL NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU! Time is running out, a decision on this proposal can happen as soon as March 1st so time is of the essence. PLEASE email Planning Assistant Joanne Reed at email@example.com and Jennifer Emminger at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them that you do NOT support the "shady" changes in the proposal THAT DO NOT CHANGE THE CONCERNS IN THE PLANNING COMMISSION PROPOSAL.
Marcus' sneeky plan to get the traffic below 500 will not 1.) change the public safety problems and 2.) change health concerns which resulted in the proposal being denied in the first place. THEREFORE, WHEN WRITING YOUR LETTER AND EMAIL, PLEASE MAKE A POINT TO REMIND JOANNE AND JENNIFER AT THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT THOSE TWO IMPORTANT POINTS. Simply read the statement of denial again and apply the concerns regarding public safety and health towards your letter...it's that easy.
This site is going to do everything in it's power to bring awareness to this insane issue in an attempt to get the public involved and express their outrage. From now until the decision is reached, I will being you various posts on this topic including video footage from members of the neighborhood, as well as complete footage of the public hearing when the public came out and fought back against Marcus and Batista (it's one thing to read the outrage, it's a whole different matter when you can watch what happened at the meeting, hear the testimony, hear the questions from member of the commission who had grave reservations regarding the placement of the store in the proposed location, and the garbage that flowed out of Marcus' mouth).
To give people who are not familiar with the neighborhood a better understanding of what the residents are dealing with, I made this short video clip of the proposed location. Take special note of slope of the road on Springside Ave, the odd location of the property (which would require to make a turn to Springside off Osborne), and remember HOW CLOSE THIS PLACE WILL BE TO DANBURY HOSPITAL (doctors and nurses to work=stopping for coffee)
NOTE: I walked up and down the street when I shot this footage...the line of site would be lower if you were driving a car and it's very difficult to see traffic driving left to right on Osborne from Springside.
First, here are two images of the Osborne Street/Springside Ave intersection. The proposed Dunkin Donuts site is boxed in red in the second image.
...and keep the odd location of the site as well as the slope of Springside Ave in mind when you watch the video.
Hopefully you get an idea of how awful this planned Dunkin Donuts proposal would be for people living in Springside Avenue area (ugh, I can just see people taking cutting through Springside to get around traffic on Osborne).
Again, PLEASE email Planning Assistant Joanne Reed at email@example.com and Jennifer Emminger at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them that you do NOT support the "shady" changes in the proposal THAT DO NOT CHANGE THE CONCERNS IN THE PLANNING COMMISSION PROPOSAL.
A special section on HatCityBLOG will be created for the purpose of keeping everyone informed in this situation. Please come back for updates.