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March 04. 2013 10:40PM

Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru gets Nashua zoning board approval

NASHUA - In a close vote last week, the Zoning Board of Adjustment approved a new Dunkin' Donuts and bank to be built off Spit Brook Road that some members of the board fear will become a traffic nightmare.

In a 3-2 vote, variances specific to the donut shop and bank's drive-thrus narrowly passed the ZBA last Tuesday, as some members warned of unforeseen consequences down the road.

Gerry Reppucci, ZBA board member, said he couldn't support a Dunkin' Donuts at that location, adding that when development in the area is complete in a few years there will be huge amounts of traffic and people dangerously jockeying for position in the drive-thrus.

Reppucci unflatteringly compared the proposal to several already built Dunkin' Donuts drive-thrus in Nashua, such as the one on West Hollis street, as examples of unsafe traffic flows created by the coffee shops.

Despite saying that he is in favor of people getting the most out of their property, Reppucci said the drive-thrus "look crammed in there."

The proposed dual Dunkin' Donuts, bank building is part of the Gateway Hills, a Flatley Co. project being constructed off Spit Brook Road near the F.E. Everett Turnpike.

Despite the fact that previous Dunkin' Donuts applications, including one approved last month, met city specifications, just as other members said the proposed Spit Brook Road did, Reppucci said the situations created by the drive-thrus are still unsafe and that the requirements themselves may be outdated and in need of fixing.

There was also concern during the meeting that Spit Brook Road, which board members said is already clogged with traffic from cars from the F.E. Turnpike, may get backed up even more due to the presence of a Dunkin' Donuts.

However, the majority of the other board members did not reflect Reppucci's concerns, as they agreed to focus on the variances Flatley, a Braintree, Mass. company, applied for.

Reppucci said that part of his concern stems from his fear that along with local traffic, the location would attract commuter traffic as well, further congesting an already congested area.

Flatley representatives denied this, and said the plan is to cater to local consumers, and added that the proposed entrance would be located almost at the point that Spit Brook Road narrows from two lanes to one and the drive-thrus would not be seen from the road.

In the end, Flatley received approval for all four variances it applied for.

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