Newtown’s Planning and Zoning Commission has rejected a proposal to modify its regulations to allow for a retail center featuring a restaurant with a drive-thru window.
Applicant James Walsh had sought a special permit for his 2.86-acre property at 32 Berkshire Road (Route 34), near Exit 11 on I-84, which would have resulted in an Interchange Commercial Design District. The drive-thru aspect was patterned after the Exit 10 Commercial Design District, which allowed a Starbucks with a drive-thru service to be included in the 75 Church Hill Road retail center.
Drive-thrus are typically reserved only for banks and pharmacies in Newtown; the one food-related exception to the town’s regulations had been Botsford Drive-In at 282 South Main St., whose drive-through window existed before the ordinance went into effect.
Starbucks opened on June 14, with another six tenants expected to open at that center soon.
In addition to the drive-thru aspect, the Walsh proposal had been criticized by some residents for the increased traffic that would result from such a project.