Midlothian City Council Votes “No” On New Drive-Thru Coffee Shop

map showing planned development of drive-thru
Exhibit B as presented in City Council Meeting

MIDLOTHIAN – The City of Midlothian voted “no” on a Special Use Permit (SUP) following a recent public hearing that would have allowed a drive-thru coffee shop, Scooters, at 761 E. Main Street.

The vote was 5 – 2 with the motion made to “deny,” which was approved for denial by all but Midlothian Mayor Richard Reno and Mayor Pro Tem Ted Miller. One of the reasons councilmembers voted against was out of concern for future use of the site.

The existing land use zoning required the Special Use Permit for the drive-through establishment and additional signage for the coffee shop. The applicant was requesting the construction of the 664-square-foot coffee shop with a drive-thru window only. The drive-thru was to have consisted of a nine-car que from the pickup window with no walk-up pedestrian order window or indoor seating.

Coffee shop busy hours were noted to be 6 to 9 a.m. when the most traffic would be expected.

On the map shown at the public hearing the driveway access is shown on Main Street with an access easement to the east of the property for future development.

Council discussed nearby O’Reilly Auto Parts for possible cross access. O’Reilly Auto Parts is privately owned and they would not grant an easement.

Council members also discussed if this kiosk coffee shop was a business the city wanted to develop. What could the building become if Scooters moved out of the location?

Midlothian Councilmember Justin Coffman said, “We don’t make decisions necessarily on who is going to inhabit the building. We make decisions on the construction of the building, the facilities themselves. This is an extremely small building, larger facilities are more flexible. This is a coffee kiosk, what else can it be?”

It was also mentioned the 664-square-feet building could easily be taken done if necessary.

The property is currently zoned Planned Development District No. 2 (PD-2) with a base zoning of Commercial (C).  The Future Land Use element of the Comprehensive Plan shows the proposed development is located in the New Town Module. The characteristics “…include a mix of single-family residential, commercial, and community facility uses set in a grid street pattern that encourages walking and biking between locations, which is a more organized form than typically found in suburban areas. The built environment features a range of styles, from the dense urban pattern of downtown set next to houses on smaller lots mixed in with larger lots that provide a broad range of lifestyle choices for living, working, shopping, and entertaining.”

Staff recommended approval of the proposed SUP with the following condition: 1. The monument sign shall meet the requirements in accordance with Section 4.6017 of the Zoning Ordinance. On February 15, 2022, the Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approval of this agenda item with staff’s recommendation.

Staff said after the meeting “A case being denied does not necessarily preclude the applicant from addressing whatever concerns were expressed by Council and re-applying in the future. Any applicant can re-apply for a special use permit after six months.”