City officials may ask for voluntary compliance from businesses currently not required to meet newly adopted standards governing the amount of space that must be provided for vehicles lining up at their drive-thru windows or pick-ups areas.
Dunedin City Commissioners unanimously adopted at last Thursday's final reading an ordinance establishing minimum standards for vehicle stacking at new fast food eateries, banks, pharmacies, daycare facilities and other establishments offering pickup and drop off services.
Under the ordinance a restaurant, pharmacy, car wash, beverage store or other retail establishment will have to provide at least 125 feet of stacking space, while a bank is required to provide 75 feet and a day care or school 25 feet for every dozen students.
Stacking lanes must accommodate peak on-site traffic demands on site and avoid vehicles lining up on adjacent properties or the right of way. Parking spaces cannot be used for vehicle stacking.
Standards were adopted to make sure motorists are not causing a nuisance to others, said Joan Rice, the city’s transportation and traffic engineer. The ordinance was created to prevent vehicles from lining up beyond property boundaries, into public rights-of-way or onto adjacent properties. Rice said Thursday night problems have been caused by one or two business that do not keep the flow of traffic on their property.
Existing businesses are grandfathered in, but all new businesses that want to provide a drive-thru will have to meet the new minimum requirements. Commissioners suggested staff ask some offending businesses if they might be willing to address the concerns of surrounding property owners and try to meet the provisions of the new ordinance.
Mayor Dave Eggers said “it is a safety concern.”
Rice said there is an option for developers who don’t agree with minimum standards designed by the city to conduct a special study at their own expense, based on site specific issues. In addition, the city may require a business to supply a stacking study, she added. If the business’ stacking plan causes problems after the project is completed, the property owner will be required to make changes to eliminate the problem.