Dunkin’ proposed on lot at Foster and Elston Avenues
by BRIAN NADIG
A presentation on a proposed Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant with a drive-through near Foster and Elston avenues is on the agenda for the meeting of the Forest Glen Community Club at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, at the Paderewski Academy of Music, 5400 N. Lawler Ave.
The development would be built on the site of an existing landscaped parcel that fronts both Foster and Elston avenues and is located between a car repair shop at 5157 N. Elston Ave. and the parking lot for the Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church, 5106 N. LaCrosse Ave.
In recent years two other zoning proposals for the site failed to materialize due to community opposition.
One called for a gas station, a car wash and a 7-Eleven store and the other a Taco Bell with a drive-through. The gas station proposal also included the car repair shop site, but the new proposal reportedly does not.
In the past residents have expressed traffic concerns about the site’s potential redevelopment and have opposed businesses there that would be open 24 hours, such as the previously proposed 7-Eleven. Some residents also argued that there was no need for another gas station in the area, noting that there were two existing ones a couple blocks away.
Tentative plans for the new proposal call for the Dunkin’ and one other business on the site, and the developer indicated that the donut shop would be closed during the overnight hours and that the parking lot could be kept secured at night, according to 39th Ward Alderman Samantha Nugent’s office.
The project would require a zoning change because the property is zoned for residential uses, and a special use from the Zoning Board of Appeals would be required for the drive-through facility.
The project also would require the city to vacate an L-shaped alley that cuts through a portion of the property.
A spokesperson for Nugent said that a decision whether to move forward with the proposal would be based in the input which the alderman receives from the community.