CVS drive-through approved by Denton Planning/Zoning board

By a vote of 5 to 1, the City of Denton Planning and Zoning Comission chose to allow the proposed United Equities site plan for a CVS store with drive-through at Fry and Hickory.

The Denton Record Chronicle has an emotionless article about the Special Use Permit hearing.

The article fails to mention the following points:

* Handicapped visitors must walk through the drive through lane to enter the store. In fact, ALL parking visitors must walk through the drive-through lane to get to the store.

* The council chambers were filled mostly with citizens opposing the drive-through

* The consulting “traffic analyst” for United Equities nervously explained that his estimate of 8-10 cars through the drive-through per hour was based not on a current traffic study; he used data from previous years, and only for the month of July (obviously between major UNT semesters, and failing to project based on UNT’s rapidly increasing enrollment)

* The city staff planner who opened the discussion recommended permit approval and didn’t express interest in accurate traffic data or risk analysis. I’d say this creates huge liability for the city, developer, and especially pedestrians/cyclists.

* Much of the outspoken opposition were elderly homeowners in the Historic District, not the voters who elected officials can afford to anger.

* Patrice Lyke explained the history of the Special Use Permit: a disincentive to create unnecessary drive-throughs, since they encourage constant idling cars that pollute, especially in a designated “pedestrian-friendly” area.

* When asked by commissioners if the CVS would be open 24 hours, United Equities had no idea.

* An anonymous council meeting attendee answered (“no” to) the question, seemingly on behalf of CVS, yet he never identified himself officially or registered to speak. His remark is entirely unsubstantial.

* Several of the opposition mentioned counting cars in other local pharmacy drive-through lanes and finding peak traffic numbers as high as 30+ cars per hour.

* Nita Thurman (of the Denton RC staff) explained that she was hired by United Equities to do historic research, but that her opinion to support the drive-through was not influenced by her paid work.

* After the vote result was clear, the huge majority of attendees were visibly and audibly disappointed with the result.

* The site plan displayed (accepted as such) did not include an explained deletion of one ingress/egress point onto Hickory. Now there are only 2 ways to exit the drive-though lane and parking lot: out to Fry, and snaking through the parking lot and then out to Oak.

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