TWIN FALLS — The Planning and Zoning Commission has given Dutch Bros. the OK to build a drive-through on Blue Lakes Boulevard — with conditions.
Commissioners on Tuesday heard the company’s request for a permit to open a drive-through at 326 Blue Lakes Blvd. N., replacing the former Threads building. But after adjacent condominium residents expressed concerns about traffic and noise, the commission chose to put a number of additional conditions on the business’ special use permit.
Now, Dutch Bros. will have to work with neighbors on a landscaping plan before it can start serving coffee. The motion passed with a 4-3 vote; commissioners Gerardo Munoz and Danielle Dawson were absent from the meeting.
Dutch Bros. has one location on Pole Line Road already, which was under scrutiny early this year because of its impacts on DaVita Dialysis next door. The company has since rerouted its double drive-through.
“I think we’ve proven with Pole Line we’re willing to go above and beyond and be the best neighbors possible,” Regional Operator Christian Gervais told the Times-News after the vote.
This second location would be a single drive-through able to hold 25 cars in a big loop around the property.
“We have been searching and trying to find site No. 2 for quite some time,” said Kyle Cooper, who represented Dutch Bros. at the meeting.
Residents largely favored the company coming to Blue Lakes Boulevard but wanted to ensure steps were taken to protect their properties from noise and light.
Greg Lanting, who owns one of the condos behind the property, suggested the business follow a landscaping practice such as what was done at Rocket Express in order to protect residential properties from noise and light.
Commissioners were also concerned about customers trying to make illegal left turns onto Blue Lakes Boulevard; a painted median prohibits left turns here, as it is close to the intersection with Heyburn Avenue.
In the end, the Planning and Zoning Commission decided it was not enough to trust Dutch Bros. to make the right decision with landscaping; they will require the company to come back with its plan.
“To me, you should have a good barrier from day one,” Commissioner Ed Musser said.
According to the conditions placed on Dutch Bros., the business will have to create a landscaping plan in collaboration with neighbors before bringing it back before the commission. This plan will have to consider a berm, a masonry fence to protect from noise, and 6-foot trees — the majority of which will be evergreens. Additionally, Dutch Bros. will be required to have a light source pointed away from other properties, and will need to consider a right-turn arrow painted on the exit lane, with “right turn only” signage if allowed by code.
Commissioners Curtis Hansen, Ryan Higley and Craig Kelley voted against approval.
Also at the meeting, the commission voted 4-3 to deny a developer’s request to build eight fourplexes on property southwest of the Borah Avenue West and Rose Street North intersection. Neighbors voiced complaints about potential traffic impacts.
“Rose is a one-way street no matter what — and that is going to be a huge roadblock,” Randy Steel said.
That’s because property owners park on either side of the narrow street, making ambulance and fire access difficult. There are no plans for the city to ever widen that street.
While commissioners agreed the zoning was proper for the request, they sympathized with those who spoke against it. Musser, Higley and Kelley voted to approve the special use permit for Kaitlyn Court, but Detweiler, Carolyn Bolton, Craig Hawkins and Hansen voted to deny it.
The applicant will be given a chance to appeal the decision.
Also at the meeting, the commission:
- Approved a special use permit for Core Cycle to operate an indoor recreational facility at 163 Cheney Drive W., Suite 200.
- Approved a special use permit for Al Gamache to construct a garage larger than 1,500 square feet for a trailer at 3365 East, 4028 North in the city’s area of impact.
- Approved a special use permit for Tayler Chapin to operate Hive Hot Yoga at 834 Blue Lakes Blvd. N.
- Approved Tyler-Davis Jeffers for a special use permit at 240 Eastland Drive in order to operate an RV storage and storage unit rental facility at the site of a former drive-in theater.
- Approved a zoning title amendment for floodplain regulations.