Coffee shop proposal spurned by F’ville planners

— A representative of the owner of the former Friendly’s Restaurant building on Genesee Street met a skeptical public and an unimpressed village of Fayetteville planning board Monday night.

In the end, Brian Bouchard of CHA Consulting, representing JFJ Holdings LLC, was told that the site plan was not in keeping with the architecture of the village, and that the plan would need to be significantly revised to pass muster.

“Don’t come back until you’re ready,” Planning Board Chair Jane Rice told Bouchard. “And you can tell the client we’re really disappointed.”

Bouchard indicated that while the client owns multiple Dunkin’ Donuts shops in the area, he was not ready to reveal that the plans presented to the board were for a Dunkin’ Donuts.

“There has been talk about Dunkin’ Donuts, so the themes in the architectural drawings fit with that,” he said. “I’ve been told that the tenant still has not been secured.” The color schemes and architecture, however, were in keeping with several other Dunkin’ Donuts in the area.

Following a brief summary of some modifications to the site plan, the audience was asked for comments and questions. Several residents of Elm Street were concerned that the addition of a high-traffic use on that corner would lead to additional traffic westbound down Elm as commuters try to avoid the traffic tie-ups on Genesee Street after stopping in for their morning coffee. Other concerns included the potential noise from early-morning deliveries. Several residents questioned why the village needs a fourth coffee shop to go along with Starbucks, Freedom of Espresso and Panera.

Rice indicated that it wasn’t the planning board’s jurisdiction to determine how many coffee shops is too many in the village.

“Whether we need four or five or two or six coffeeshops, is not within our purview,” she said, indicating that the property is zoned for this type of use. But the planning board does hold sway over the site plan, to include parking issues, signage, architectural design, hours of operation, and any potential nuisances like lighting, noise or pollution.

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