New drive-thru

The Mebane City Council approved a developer’s rezoning request, allow for a new multi-tenant neighborhood shopping center featuring a Dunkin’ Donuts with a drive-thru to be built in Mebane.

Evans Street Four LLC, the developer on the projected, requested the city rezone the parcel located on the corner of NC Highway 119 S and Millstead Drive from it’s current B-2 zoning to B-2(CD), as the B-2(CD) allows for the shopping center and drive-thru, which will be a Dunkin’ Donuts.

The five-tenant shopping center will be 6,900 square feet, with the restaurant being the largest at 2,100 square feet. It also will be EMS and solid waste accessible and will feature one full use entrance and exit off Millstead Drive, as the NCDOT wouldn’t approve two full access entrances. There will be an additional single exit lane out of the shopping center onto Millstead Drive, as well.

The developer’s request also included a waiver regarding signage for the Dunkin’ Donuts, which would allow for two signs on one wall, as the sign layout for the restaurant is not currently allowed by the City of Mebane.

Council Member Patty Philipps asked whether a traffic impact analysis (TIA) had been performed on the site. Development Director Cy Stober said that in discussion with the engineering team, the city development team determined a TIA would not be necessary.

One Mebanite asked the council to consider allowing healthier restaurant to lease out the new space to.

“When I found out that this was going to be a Dunkin’ Donuts, I was a little disappointed,” Mebane resident Janet Ecklebarger said. “I was concerned because I don’t feel like it’s bringing any kind of healthy things to our community.”

Ecklebarger also said she’s worried a Dunkin’ Donuts in that area will put local donut stores out of business, like NC Jelly Donuts which is located close by.

The spokesman for the developer said that, in all likelihood, the restaurant in this shopping center will be a Dunkin’ Donuts. However, he added that Dunkin’ Donuts will not own the building, but will simply be one of the five tenants leasing a space.

Council Member Tim Bradley assured Mebanites that the council has no interest in which restaurant fills the space -- or any other particular space. The council is only interested in the space needing to be rezoning.

“There’s a general feeling that we attract, or call for, a particular type of business…” Bradley said. “These businesses come here because they’re attracted by the market that their company sees. I would say, probably, the fact that there’s going to be three donut places within a half-mile radius is because donuts are fairly popular.”