Though the Patchogue Village Zoning Board of Appeals has green-lighted a drive-thru and reduced parking for a proposed Main Street Starbucks, safety concerns still impede Planning Board approval.

Acting Planning Board chairperson Kevin Weeks, reading from a letter from ZBA chairperson Nick Fuccillo dated Tuesday, said last night the ZBA determined a special permit could be issued for Starbucks’ drive-thru, as it is “of the same general character as those listed as permitted uses in this district,” and meets special use requirements.

Members of ABH Realty, the representatives on behalf of Starbucks, stood before the Planning Board for an hour during last night’s meeting, broadcast via Zoom.

The representatives agreed to implement new safety features for the building they plan to construct at 159 West Main Street, and the surrounding site.

The Starbucks is being planned for the old Bargain Bilge property.

The Planning Board concluded the developers must add a speed bump at the end of the drive-thru, erect fencing along West Main Street to prevent unsafe pedestrian access and submit a copy of a soil test of the site, interior floor plans and elevations before the board can make a determination.

The board’s requests will modify ABH’s most recent site plan submitted on April 21 which included a breadth of features to address the various safety concerns addressed by the ZBA and the general public.

The most noticeable is a new pedestrian crosswalk connecting the public sidewalk on the eastern property line to the front of the building.

While the crosswalk offers a safe route for customers to access the front door or walk-up window, several Planning Board members felt this would not be sufficient to prevent people — children and teenagers in particular — from cutting across the parking lot in front of the drive-thru’s exit from the sidewalk adjacent to West Main Street.

The Planning Board and ABH feel the fence along West Main Street will prevent unsafe entry to the front of the building and an accident.

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The revised plan also features a side gate and pathway for employees to access a dumpster when cars are parked, a yield sign to slow cars appropriating the lot’s rear, a stop sign and line at the end of the drive-thru and a bike rack at the southeast corner to reduce on-site bicycle traffic.

The West Main Street curb cut has also been modified in an effort to address ZBA and public concern over drivers making left turns in and out of the premise.

Tuesday night’s meeting also included about 30 minutes of public comments, most of which drew upon contention with Starbucks, a corporation, entering a village with small town appeal.

Weeks noted, however, village officials cannot exclude Starbucks from the area based on concerns that it will be out of place or hurt local mom-and-pop coffeehouses.

Check back with GreaterPatchogue for more details on this project.

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