A potential Chipotle Mexican Grill was formally presented last week to Planning and Zoning, and is moving forward, although a final vote was not yet taken.
The restaurant would move forward on the corner of Commercial Parkway and Route 1, where a small strip of businesses currently exist, including Subway a Chinese take-out and Cigar shop. The current structure would be greatly reduced in size and remodeled for the new restaurant.
The new plan will make what appears to be improvements to traffic flow from the site to the adjacent streets. An access point from the site to Commercial Parkway will be moved further from the main intersection, and a total of 36 parking spaces will included, an increase from 32.
The owner of the site, Centercorp Retail Properties is a Massachusetts based company. John Mancini of BL Companies, the engineer, presented the project to Planning and Zoning.
The proposed Chipotle, which are often built near a Starbucks, will share a lot with the current Starbucks. Interestingly, while Starbucks customers frequently use the lot, Mancini stated that no easement existed on the site regarding the parking. Zoning enforcement officer Jennifer Acquino stated that the concern of the town was that Starbucks held no easement to consider the parking spots near the strip as part of their parking requirements.
Mancini stated he did not see obtaining such an easement to be an issue, considering it benefits Starbucks more than his client.
Another interesting discussion centered around the calculation of parking spaces, and whether that calculation should include outside seating. Commissioner Fed Russo raised the issue, wondering allowed if the fact that it was seasonal should impact that decision.
Acquino stated she did include the proposed outside seating area, but it would make little difference as the proposed parking exceeded the calculations in either event.
There was nothing stated at the meeting on the potential fate of the current tenants. In the audience was the owner of Subway, who stated he had been there for 18 years.
While no vote was taken, the Commission asked the town employees to write up a resolution in favor of the project to be voted on at the next meeting