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New drive-thru beats blight at Maple and Rochester

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published September 21, 2016

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A new drive-thru restaurant, possibly a coffee shop, will replace the vacant former Mickey Shorr store that sold sound components for vehicles at the corner of Maple and Rochester roads.

The Troy Planning Commission unanimously approved the preliminary site plan, with a few tweaks, at its Sept. 13 meeting.

Ben Carlisle, of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, the city’s planning consultant, recommended approval of the site plan, but he also recommended that the Planning Commission ask the applicant, architect Michael Boggio, for changes — including increasing the width of the sidewalks fronting Rochester and Maple roads to 8 feet, extending the sidewalk to the southern property boundary on Rochester Road, and looking into making the circular driveway easier for larger SUVs to turn through.

Carlisle also said the Planning Commission could ask for more architectural features on the back wall.

“This is a significant investment to the building,” Carlisle said. “We commend them for the improvements.”

Boggio said the investment was between $350,000 and $450,000.

R. Brent Savidant, planning director for the city of Troy, said the property is zoned integrated business and industrial, and that until 2011, when the city’s zoning ordinance was amended to spur redevelopment, a drive-thru business was only permitted as a special use in an IB district.

He described the change as a “market-driven approach. This is the type of project we want to see.”

Savidant noted before the vote that he was comfortable with the Planning Commission approving the preliminary site plan with the stipulations, which could be reviewed upon the final site plan approval, done administratively.

Boggio described the site, which is just under nine-tenths of an acre, as a “very compact site,” which would feature an outdoor patio. He said no tenants have yet signed a lease, but he envisions the spot as a coffee shop.

In the past, the city required sites for drive-thru businesses to be at least an acre.

Boggio said he expects the business to open next summer or fall.

“This approval was wonderful,” said Planning Commissioner Michael Hutson. “It is such an improvement. It’s such an eyesore.”

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