Naperville council OKs Dunkin' Donuts near downtown
Naperville City Council members seem to have found a proposal they like -- and it involves doughnuts -- for the long dormant gas station at the southeast corner of Hillside Road and Washington Street.
The property owner's early plans for a Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins restaurant met unanimous approval from council members Tuesday night.
Proposed for the site is a 2,600-square-foot restaurant with a drive-through, a right-in, right-out access point on Washington Street and full access from Hillside Road.
The plan differs from an idea the planning and zoning commission rejected in April, which would have brought a 4,915-square-foot retail building with two unknown tenants as well as a Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins to the site. Both proposals follow a pitch that was denied in 2012 to build a McDonald's on the well-traveled corner.
The document the council approved granted right of way along Washington Street and created an easement along the eastern edge of the property, which will allow the city to construct a Riverwalk extension there if officials choose.
"I'm gratified that this use has been found for it and that the property owner is dedicating a strip of land along the river as a Riverwalk easement," council member Robert Fieseler said. "I think we acted wisely when we took a pass on the McDonald's development, which was a lot more dense."
Approval gives property owner Raj Sashonnie of Naperville all the city council approval he needs to construct the combination doughnut and ice cream shop if he so chooses. Restaurants such as the proposed Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin Robbins are permitted by right in the property's zoning designation, which sets the land aside for general commercial use.
Council member Paul Hinterlong asked if precautions will be taken to decrease the amount of light and noise that might shine or carry across the river into neighboring residential backyards.
Bill Novack, director of transportation, engineering and development, said city staff members will ensure the restaurant's lights and drive-through menu board stay within standards for light spilling across property lines and plans call for a fence to help block sound from traveling toward homes.
While traffic concerns remain about how customers traveling south on Washington will access the site, council members Fieseler, Doug Krause and Grant Wehrli said those issues would arise with any new use on the site.
The restaurant is proposed to be open from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m., easing concerns about the desirability of a 24-hour use.
"This is a welcome addition," Wehrli said. "It will be nice to see it redeveloped."