By Colleen Sparks
A controversial proposal to rezone property to allow a Dutch Bros. coffee shop at 3rd Avenue and Camelback Road is on hold, at least for now.
That’s after the request to rezone the site was continued at the city of Phoenix’s Planning Commission meeting on Oct. 3 to allow more time for discussions with neighbors. The Planning Commission expects to consider the issue at its Nov. 7 meeting.
Purpose Driven Development has requested a rezoning to remove a special permit that allows for car rental and leasing on a site about 140 feet east of the northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and Camelback Road where Dutch Bros. hopes to open a new shop. The coffee shop has a location at Central Avenue and Camelback Road that it must close no later than Feb. 28, 2020, according to a private agreement between franchise owner and representatives of nearby businesses. The deal came about after area businesses and neighbors said the drive-through coffee “hut” created parking and traffic problems.
The Alhambra Village Planning Committee a few months ago voted to recommend the zoning request be denied at the urging of local residents. The Medlock Place Historic Neighborhood Association sent a letter to the City of Phoenix planning officials opposing the request to rezone the property because of concerns about increased traffic and air quality degradation.
The developer had requested rezoning from Intermediate Commercial, Special Permit, Interim Transit-Oriented Zoning Overlay District One to Intermediate Commercial to allow commercial uses.
Susan Demmitt, the attorney representing Dutch Bros. on behalf of the property owner, said at the Village Planning meeting that without the rezoning, the property owner would not be able to develop the site. In a recent email, Demmitt said that the “property owner continued the hearing on October 3 to allow additional time for dialogue with the neighborhood and City. Those conversations are ongoing.”