The Chapel Hill Dunkin’ Donuts is petitioning to add a drive-thru to its business, but the process is harder than some may think.
Businesses must apply for a special use permit from the Town Council before the drive-thru can be approved, as it is an attempt by the town to limit traffic and emissions.
Pete Turner, the owner of the Chapel Hill Dunkin’, said they are hoping for over 2000 signatures on the petition and are close to reaching that number. Community members can sign the petition at the Dunkin' Donuts on East Franklin Street.
The mission statement at the top of the petition states, “As a matter of convenience for expecting moms, parents with toddlers, ADA guests and all guests during inclement weather, we the undersigned, would greatly appreciate the approval of a drive thru lane at Dunkin' Donuts in Chapel Hill.”
Ann Fitts, junior communications and political science major, signed the petition. Fitts and her friends used to go to the Dunkin’ Donuts at Southpoint, which has a quick, easy drive-thru.
“Last year I interned and drove by Dunkin’ Donuts,” she said, “but it was early in the morning, and I never really had time to stop and go inside.”
Aaron Nelson, president and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, said, as he understands it, Dunkin’ built their current building under a special use permit that did not allow a drive-thru and would now like to modify that permit with permission from the town council.
Turner said a new drive-thru in Chapel Hill requires a set of four conditions: the menu board must not be visible from the street, there must be room on the property for a ten-car stack, the drive-thru window must be screened by four-foot evergreens and there must be a pedestrian crosswalk with a raised path.
“We meet and exceed these expectations,” he said.