provide clarity as to when a traffic study would be required. Mr. Smith noted that
staff desired to retain some level of flexibility for the City’s Traffic Engineer and
that was why the wording proposed that way with respect to internal development
conditions. The mandate for a study when the site had access within 300-feet of an
intersection was noted as a general standard used in most traffic analyses required
by the City.
There was additional detailed discussion with respect to establishing less
subjective requirements triggering a traffic study and what it should be providing
staff in their analysis. Mr. Smith suggested that the criteria shown within the
requirement for a conditional use approval could be incorporated into the
proposed standards triggering a traffic study for a drive-thru permitted with a
“by-right” use (generally those in the M-C district). The Commissioner expressed
support of that change noting it would create less subjectivity in staff analysis of
the traffic study when required.
There was also discussion of using “user-specific” trip generation values in lieu of
the standards provide by the ITE Manual. Commissioner cited that not all drive-thru
uses perform at the same level of intensity and that potentially only utilizing the
ITE Manual generated number my result over-estimating the impact that one use
may have other another. Mr. Smith indicated that he would discuss the possible
use of alternative trip generation values with the City Traffic Engineer.
Mr. Zenner noted that it is possible that smaller uses may not have those numbers
whereas a larger drive-thru user may. In such instances, the only available metric
for evaluation would be to use the ITE Manual and that creating a variation could
create an uneven playing field between users that both have drive-thrus as part of
their business operations. Mr. Zenner suggested that it may be valuable to state
within the regulations that the ITE was baseline for all users and those that had
traffic studies could offer them as supplemental information. If the submitted
numbers shown an increase in trips the higher number would be used.
Mr. Smith when on to explain the conditional use criteria in the proposed text
amendment and how a traffic study would be required any time there was a CUP
approval required for a drive-thru. Concerns were expressed that small businesses
may be negatively impacted by the proposed standards. There was discussion on
how to potentially exempt a small business from having to produce a traffic study.
Mr. Smith suggested a strategy that could incorporate a list of “exempt” uses such
as bank in M-OF as well as possibly considering a square footage maximum prior to
requiring the study.
The Commission also discussed at length the issue of site placement and design of
development that had drive-thru uses located on strip center “end-caps” and in
adaptive reuse scenarios. Specific examples offered included the Freddy’s located
in the Broadway Shopping Center near Highway 63 and the dry cleaners converted
to a coffee shop off Green Meadows. Commissioners desired to ensure that the
traffic issues resulting from those projects were not generally replicated elsewhere
within the City.
Mr. Zenner noted that the current amendment process could address such “reuse”
or “infill” situations and that site planning and evaluation controls would need to
be identified that provide mechanisms for Site Development staff to take a more
critical look at such locations in the future. Mr. Smith noted that he could explore
potential regulatory standards that would address these concerns with the Traffic
Engineer and the Site Development team; however, formal text addressing the
concerns may need to be developed for a subsequent round of review.