Mebane’s city council unanimously agreed to rezoning for a new strip shopping center that could also be home to a Dunkin Donuts franchise.
According to plans shown to Mebane’s planning board last month and to city council members Monday night, the 6,900-square-foot building will have space for five tenants.
The five connected units would consist of one with 2,100 square feet for a restaurant (understood to Dunkin Donuts); one unit with 1,500 square feet; two units with 1,250 square feet; and one unit with 800 square feet.
One of those potential tenants is Dunkin Donuts, according to design plans shown and discussion from the project’s engineer, which is one of the reasons the plans also include room for a drive-through window and lane.
The project engineer, Phil Koch, had told the planning board that the developer of the project hopes to get started by late summer.
Most of the discussion at the city council meeting Monday night focused on the traffic flow within the 1.5-acre lot and particularly the drive-through to serve the donut store. Koch noted that DOT has not allowed an entrance directly onto NC 119; rather the only entrance will be from Millstead Drive.
The content of the Dunkin Donuts store drew a rebuke from Janet Ecklebarger, a Mebane resident who is a local artist. She said the city needs “good healthy foods,” not the “empty, vapid calories” associated with donuts. She also lamented the potential competition with other donut stores close to the proposed location.
Councilman Tim Bradley underscored the point that the rezoning request to the council was strictly about rezoning and was not dependent – and could not be dependent – on the specific store brand or content of its products, as Ecklebarger was advocating. “We don’t solicit for certain businesses,” Bradley said, adding, however, that donuts must be “fairly popular in Mebane,” based on the number of donut stores existing and planned.
The council approved the rezoning 5-0.
See earlier Alamance News coverage of the planning board’s deliberations on the rezoning request: https://alamancenews.com/small-shopping-center-with-dunkin-donuts-on-city-councils-mon-agenda/