comments

Roseville Planning Commission recommend denial for Dutch Bros. site

By: Brody Fernandez Of Gold Country Media
-A +A

Roseville residents packed into City Hall at the Feb. 7 Planning Commission meeting to hear  presentations from the Planning Department and from the applicant about a proposed Dutch Bros. Coffee drive-thru kiosk.

The kiosk would go into a vacant lot at the intersection of Douglas Boulevard and Donner Avenue. The Roseville Planning Department recommended denial for the project Feb. 7,  citing safety concerns and traffic congestion concerns that would directly impact the surrounding area and its residents.

The proposal in front of the commission was for the following actions:

 

  • Conclude that finding two of the required four findings of fact cannot be made to approve the Design Review Permit and accordingly deny the Design Review Permit.

  • Decline to take action on the administrative permit for a parking reduction, as the denial of the design review permit invalidates the request for an administrative permit

  • Direct staff to process the voluntary merger administratively.

 

Roseville residents gathered more than 430 signatures to oppose the development in early November.

Roseville city planner Greg Bitter said Feb. 7 that that the project contained too many issues to count.

“We want people to understand that we rarely find ourselves in a position where we are recommending denial of a project,” Bitter said. “I know the commision has recognized several controversial projects where we thought we (Planning Department) felt confident we could make the appropriate findings to mitigate issues for those projects.”  

The proposed kiosk had potentially unfixable issues, according to the Planning Department.

“We take this very seriously when we recommend denial. This is so rare that it’s hard for me to remember the last time we did so,” Bitter said. “These kiosks do not operate like typical drive- thru locations. We know anecdotally, they don’t operate to normalized standards.”  

Another concern that the Planning Department expressed was the residential aspect and the surrounding community it could impact.

“The two (Dutch Bros.) we’ve brought forward have not been adjacent to residential neighborhoods,” Bitter said. “Those locations are in retail and commercial lots, so the property owner bears those impacts.

The Planning Department has struggled with this project from the beginning, according to Bitter. “It’s not just one or two concerns we have here but it’s when you add all seven issues up, each one has the chance to impact the other. It’s this cascade effect we are looking at,” Bitter said. “We just don’t have a high level of certainty that we can advise you (Planning Commission) that this site will rarely have issues.”   

The seven issues were in relation to seven specific locations on the lot that were designated to foresee traffic build up or bottlenecks and safety concerns for thru traffic and residential pedestrians.

Tiffany Wilson from RSC Engineering, Inc., the project’s lead engineer, disagreed with the Planning Department.

“We have determined that our site plan was adequately designed,” Wilson said. “We feel that our changes to the site plan based on the traffic study do allow you to make determination that this project will be harmonious with the city.”   

Planning Commission members listened Feb. 7 to the concerns of the Planning Department and residents.

“This has been a potential project for quite some time now,” Planning Commissioner Justin Caporusso said. “I’ve been out there a number of instances and there’s even been instances where I’ve almost been involved in an accident on the site. One or two concerns initially is not a big deal. Seven is a major concern. Sometimes, you just can’t fit a round peg into a square hole.”

Planning Commissioner Tracy Mendonsa wants to see the lot developed eventually but not for this Dutch Bros. Coffee proposal.

“I’m not opposed to developing this site. I wish there was a little more space,” Mendonsa said. “This is not the right fit right now.”

Too many residents would be negatively affected, according to Commissioner Erich Brashears. “We’ve seen some examples of other coffee shops in other locations. In these locations, there’s not a house to be seen,” Brashears said, referencing the Foothills, Baseline and Sunrise locations in Roseville located around retail and commercial settings.

The Planning Commission unanimously voted to follow the Planning Department's recommendation of denial.