Planning Commission approves application for beer, wine

With no opposition, the Planning Commission approved a zoning exception application April 21 to allow Starbucks Coffee at 4265 Roosevelt Blvd. to add beer and wine to the coffee shop’s beverage menu.

The Planning Commission approval, on recommendation by the Planning and Development Department, is the final step in the process to allow Starbucks to sell beer and wine for on-premises consumption.

This approval was far less contentious than a similar application approved Feb. 4, 2016 for Starbuck’s San Marco location, which granted a waiver of minimum distance requirements from a school or church.

There are six houses of worship within 1500 feet of the Westside Starbucks location, including St. Matthew’s Catholic Church and School, and The Point at St. Johns Park, according to the application. During the hearing, it was noted by Planning Department staff that several other nearby businesses sell alcoholic beverages, thus setting precedent.

Although The Resident made attempts to contact Mim DeLorenzo, district manager for Starbucks Coffee Company, regarding the possibility the company may apply for a similar exception for the coffee shop on Riverside Avenue and Margaret Street in 5 Points, DeLorenzo did not respond with any comment.

Starbucks’ agent in Florida, Brian Plewinski, said he had no knowledge whether the 5 Points shop would fall in line with others.

The Resident also reached out to a Starbucks Coffee Company spokesperson, asking if the Roosevelt location will undergo a remodel prior to beginning beer and wine service, but had not received an answer as of press time.

The application, filed March 28, 2016, indicated the “proposed use will not have a detrimental effect on vehicular or pedestrian traffic or parking conditions, and will not result in the generation or creating of traffic. The existing Starbucks size and capacity will remain compliant and will remain the same as previously approved.”

However, shortly after the Starbucks located at 4265 Roosevelt Blvd. opened in February 2015, congestion began to occur on Roosevelt Boulevard as vehicles lined up in the right lane waiting to enter the drive-thru for their morning cup of java. Additionally, residents on Beverly Avenue began experiencing more traffic and parking on the local street.

The Resident reported on the problem in its April 2015 issue, noting the volume of vehicles is too high for the small parking lot to accommodate morning rush-hour demand. While the business meets all zoning requirements for a drive-thru restaurant and exceeds the minimum number of parking spaces by three (the total is 23), according to a City Planning and Development Department spokesperson last year, residents said, at the time, traffic tie-ups create unsafe situations.

By Kate Hallock
Resident Community News

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