Thursday, January 24, 2019

No Drive-Through for Eiland

The Richardson City Council rejected an application from Eiland Coffee Roasters for a location off US 75 in Richardson.

As I understand it, the Council wanted to stick to the regulations of the Planned Development for the area. Approving Eiland's application would have meant making an exception to allow a drive-through, which the next door restaurant park was not allowed. It would have meant relaxing the parking requirements vs floor area ratio, compared to what the next door restaurant park was required to meet. The Council was not against Eiland. It was not against a coffee shop. It was trying to hold the line on the planned development that everyone worked so hard on a few years ago. Eiland was not rejected. Its plan was. Eiland is free to rework its plan and come back with something that will work better for the neighborhood.

If you follow me, you know that I was opposed to the PD exceptions granted to the restaurant park, too. If you want nice things, you have to be willing to show a backbone. In an unusual vote, the City Council showed a backbone.


Jason Lemons said...

I agree about the importance of showing backbone. It’s easy to bag on the developer for opposing Mr. Eiland’s current plan, but I credit Mr. Hermansen for negotiating in good faith with city staff and neighborhood leaders in 2014 to modify his plans in a way that better conformed to the standards set by the West Spring Valley Corridor PD. Granting an exception here sends a message to our current partners and other developers that the city is not consistent in these matters and will jettison a PD at the first opportunity, even one that came up through the grassroots and has enjoyed widespread support from Heights residents. Developers seek consistency; they’d rather work with a plan or no plan at all. Approaching these issues piecemeal will ultimately render the Spring Valley redevelopment strategy meaningless. I hope Mr. Eiland comes back to the table to work with the city and adjacent neighborhoods to come up with a plan that works for everyone, but I don't want to see that come at the expense of the PD.

Mark Steger said...

Update 2.5 years later: My takeaway at the time was that if Restaurant Park couldn't get a drive-through, then neither could Eiland. Apparently some on the council were sending a different message, that Restaurant Park should come back with a request for a drive-through, too, and then council could give them both drive-throughs.