Pasadena residents will have a new coffee option on the menu if a Starbucks gets built at 4314 Mountain Road, across from the Lakeshore Crossroads shopping center that has a Giant, 1978 Pizza and other shops.
The proposal by Insite Real Estate Investment Properties meets zoning requirements since the land is zoned C2-Commercial, but the company is seeking a modification for road frontage improvement requirements. According to a letter shared by Hyatt & Weber, P.A., the attorneys for Insite Real Estate, the modification is to preserve environmental features on the property and install a small section of sidewalk.
The current lack of sidewalks, along with the excess traffic caused by people cutting through Belle of Georgia Avenue to avoid Mountain Road traffic lights, is one reason Sharonville residents are wary of the proposal.
“They have a right to build on the property, but the entrance is on a residential street, Temple Road,” Fran Burton Zimmerman said. “There are no sidewalks, and we have traffic-calming barriers that are useless.
“People don’t understand the already excess traffic from people cutting through from Hog Neck,” she added. “Now, there will be so much more because of the small, inadequate entrance proposed on Temple. People are not going to deal with the already congested Mountain Road. They are going to use the roads of least resistance.”
Burton Zimmerman noted that her neighbors have had no problem with the halfway house that currently occupies the space at 4314 Mountain Road.
The 2,349-square-foot Starbucks with a drive-thru is expected to bring in approximately 200 cars a day, according to a traffic study. Burton Zimmerman shared a police report showing that 16 accidents have occurred near the intersection of Mountain Road and Temple Drive in the last three years, “and those are just the ones reported,” she said.
Sharonville residents talked about closing the entrance to Alberta Avenue or Belle of Georgia Avenue, but people use those streets to get to and from work.
Attorney Steven Hyatt explained that the “safety concerns are well-voiced and appreciated,” and his firm is working with engineers to find solutions that keep traffic from flowing into the neighborhood.
“The county wants us to improve sidewalks all the way to Sharon Drive, and I think that might encourage more cars to go back into the neighborhood,” Hyatt said. “Also, there are wetlands we’d have to dig into, and we’d rather not do that.”
Burton Zimmerman said some of her neighbors are wondering why a Starbucks might be developed at the site when Lakeshore Plaza across the street has a Dunkin’ Donuts and a Starbucks inside of Safeway.
Hyatt isn’t authorized to speak on behalf of Starbucks, but he said, “It’s a corner on a pretty busy intersection. A lot of retailers like to be where their competition is so people have a choice. They don’t want to be located on an island where there is nothing.”
Revised preliminary plans have been submitted. Hyatt expects to hear back from the county around the end of October or beginning of November, and then there will be a few more exchanges between the developer and the county.
“We’re looking at February, realistically, before we have a yes or no from the county,” Hyatt said.
Burton Zimmerman understands that the Starbucks is likely getting built, but she wants to minimize adverse impacts to both adults and the kids who board a bus stop near the property.
“If they have a right to build, that’s fine, but don’t destroy a community that doesn’t even have sidewalks,” she said.