Not living in the immediate vicinity, I really don’t have a strong view one way or the other on the new Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins coming to Madison Street. However, after reading the story, I do have some concerns about how decisions are made by our zoning board. [Dunkin’ Donuts jumps through final hoop, news, Feb. 4]
1. Jon Hale worried that allowing a drive-thru to open before 6 a.m. might open a floodgate of similar requests. But we already have a Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins on Roosevelt Road that is open 24 hours, including the drive-thru. Where is the flood?
2. It was claimed that the hours from 4 to 6 a.m. were essential to the financials of the operation because 10 percent of the revenue would come during those hours. Are they serious? I have never seen a line of cars at the Roosevelt Road location before 6 a.m. The most business is done between 6 and 8 a.m. and that is usually coffee and donuts. The big dollars come later in the day from ice cream sales, I would imagine.
3. Mr. Rouse, chairman of the board, says that in part we should grant this exception because the owner had spent a million dollars in purchasing the property. In other words, knowing that the regulations prohibit opening before 6 a.m., if I spend enough money purchasing a property, that justifies changing the rule. Shouldn’t the owners have sought an exception before spending the money, or shouldn’t the board use some other criterion in justifying the exception?