There won't be Dunkin' Donut coffee addicts zipping into a new shop on West Main Street, Batavia, any time soon, it seems.
The City's planning board rejected a site plan for the propose fast food restaurant outright following a public hearing Tuesday.
Paul Viele, the board member who made the motion to reject the proposal, cited concerns over traffic and complaints from residents on Redfield Parkway and River Street.
The proposed location was a lot squeezed in between First Niagara Bank and Barrett's Batavia Marine.
Jett Mehta, president of the Pittsford-based development company looking to build a second Dunkin' Donuts in Batavia, said his company had looked at several properties on both the west side and the east side of the city before settling on a location they felt had sufficient traffic to support the franchise.
Donut stores and drive-thru coffee shops need high-traffic locations, Mehta explained.
"We don't generate traffic just because somebody decides they want to drive across town to get a cup of coffee," Mehta said. "They might, but we generally don't generate traffic. We capture traffic."
Kip Finley, an engineer on the project, said getting coffee and donuts is more a matter of "impulse purchases from people who are already right there."
Board members and public speakers expressed some skepticism about the "captured traffic" motif.
"Tim Hortons is not captured traffic," John Roach said. "People go there to get a cup of coffee, so I can see a lot more than five or six cars getting in line."
Mehta and his team brought their proposal to the city a couple of weeks ago and planners asked that the alignment of the store be changed so as many 20 cars in queue.
The developers did, even though they are vehement that there will never be 20 cars in queue.
"Our company operates 19 Dunkin Donuts with drive thrus," Mehta said. "We've never seen 20 cars in queue. Twenty cars in a drive-thru queue just never happens. It's not how the business is run."
When board members expressed concerns about the reconfigured site dumping traffic on River Street, Finley said that was a result of trying to accommodate the request to have space for 20 cars backed up in line.
"We're pretty flexible on those things," Finley said. "We now have two plans and both work pretty well."
Neighboring business owner Mike Barrett called the project "ill conceived."
He said there was a 400 gallon propane tank at the back of the property, an auto parts store in the neighboring shopping mall that certainly stores a lot of chemicals. He wondered if the Fire Department had signed off on the project with access to those buildings being restricted.
He also said the DEC required access to the Tonawanda Creek from that location for grass cutting operations.
Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall said City Fire had been consulted and Chief Jim Maxwell had signed off on the plans.
Redfield Parkway resident Jim Owen said he loves Dunkin' Donuts and doesn't made a section location in Batavia, just not that location.
"We're really getting overwhelmed with the traffic," Owen said. "If you try to get out on certain dates and certain hours, it's just brutal."
After the meeting, Mehta said he and his team will need to convene and decide with to continue pursuing a second Dunkin Donuts location in Batavia.
Mike Mikolajczyk, owner of the current franchise and prospective owner of the second franchise, said during the meeting that the number one request he gets from current customers is a drive-thru location.
Asked about possible locations on the east side of the city, Mikolajczyk said it doesn't appear yet that East Main has the traffic volume to support a Dunkin' Donuts.
Photo: Steve Pum and Kip Finley.