Maplewood City Council took on issues that Hazel Avenue residents have with a Tim Hortons restaurant going in at the west end of their street Tuesday in a work session that followed the regular meeting.
Planning and zoning had OK’d the permit, but sent a letter to the council outlining some sticking points: traffic flow on Hazel, a double-wide drive-through within feet of the house at 7461 Hazel, and 24-hour operation.
The Hazel residents agree they want the street blocked off at the west end, which would eliminate Tim Hortons traffic on their street. City Manager Marty Corcoran said that’s a city issue and it could be done.
The other points weren’t as cut-and-dried.
Faulkingham said the CVS pharmacy has a provision for 24-hour operation, but that traffic is far from 7461 Hazel. He said he’d like Tim Hortons to be closed 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. during the week and midnight to 5 a.m. on weekends.
“Would I want my house where his is, the way this is designed? No way,” Faulkingham said. “They still can do everything they want to do, and make plenty of money, with a few changes.”
Mayor Jim White wasn’t for telling a business what its hours should be and council member, David Cerven agreed. Council member, Barry Greenberg said if there was a sufficient buffer between the restaurant and 7461 Hazel then 24-hour operation would be OK.
White said there’s precedent for residential next to businesses in Maplewood (he said he grew up on Walter Avenue that bordered light industrial), but Greenberg said it mattered to him if zoning had changed during the ownership of a house.
Owner of 7461 Hazel, John Niehaus said he’s the fourth generation to live in the house, and there was once a house west of his, where the empty lot now is.
Niehaus had redrawn the site plan to add a 20-foot buffer at the border of his house and showed the drawing to council members, White, and Corcoran after the work session.
Corcoran said he would be happy to meet with the developers to talk about hours, a buffer zone and traffic flow.
No vote was taken, and Faulkingham said he didn’t want to vote until all the details are worked out.