A public hearing was held during the May 13 City Council meeting in regard to a request by Scooter’s Coffee of Omaha, Nebraska, for a conditional use permit (CUP) to operate a drive-thru-only coffee shop at 2500 Hwy. K in Hutching Farm Plaza.
The storefront location previously housed a Starcrest Cleaners and is adjacent to a Slim 180 Weight Loss Center. Hours of operation would be 6 a.m.-7:00 p.m. daily.
The bill to authorize the CUP was sponsored by Ward 2 council members Tom “Duke” Herweck and Lisa Thompson. If the typical process and timing are followed, the second reading and vote for passage would be at the May 27 council meeting.
The Planning & Zoning Commission has recommended approval of the CUP with conditions including the prohibition of outdoor storage of restaurant-related equipment (e.g. soda canisters, bread racks, floor mats), and maximum external speaker sound levels to be no higher than 60 decibels at a straight-line distance of 100 feet or greater, up to a height of 8 feet above the ground at the property line.
Residents of the adjacent Hutching Farm subdivision have expressed concerns about adding any more traffic volume to Hutching Farm Plaza, where traffic already is busy due to the existing daycare and retail spaces, and, with many drivers cutting through the Plaza to avoid the traffic signal at the intersection.
Residents also are worried about long lines of cars waiting to get through the coffee shop drive-thru, which would cause backups onto Hwy. K and Hutching Farm Drive, where there already are long lines at the traffic signal during peak morning and evening rush hours. They cite as an example the Starbucks coffee at Laura Hill and Hwy. K, where such congestion already occurs.
This is the second CUP request made by Scooter’s for an O’Fallon location.
At its April 22 meeting, the council approved a CUP to operate a Scooter’s Coffee at 411 S. Main Street in downtown O’Fallon. Scooter’s already operates coffee shops in St. Peters and Rolla along with locations in 17 other states. The company has plans to expand to a total of 24 states.