City of Bend says drive-thru plan fails to meet code
The developer who wants to build two drive-thrus on NE Third Street put his plans on hold after receiving negative feedback from the city of Bend.
Jake Ertle has until late spring to revive the plan for Third Street Marketplace, which involves demolishing the former church that houses Platypus Pub and building two drive-thru restaurants, Senior Planner Karen Swenson said.
Ertle was traveling and couldn’t be reached for comment.
Swenson said all three applications associated with Third Street Marketplace were put on hold after a Sept. 27 meeting with city staff, Oregon Department of Transportation personnel and the developer. Ertle has 245 days, or until May 31, to revive the plan, she said.
While the proposal to tear down an old, though not historic, building to make way for drive-thru restaurants riled neighbors, Swenson said the city would permit the drive-thrus because the development code allows automotive-oriented businesses.
The conflict between Ertle’s proposal and the Community Development Department is over the proposed layout of the drive-thrus. Third Street Marketplace calls for two restaurants facing outward like bookends from a public parking lot on NE Third Street. The drive-thru lanes would encircle the site, which begins at the northwest corner of Third Street and NE Lafayette Avenue.
The drive-thru on the first lot abutting Lafayette Avenue could not be approved because it’s oriented toward the street corner, Swenson wrote in a Sept. 25 memo.
Another issue stems from setback requirements. Placing drive-thrus between the building and the street interferes with the maximum setback listed under the Bend Central District code, which requires buildings to be closer to the street, Swenson said.
Ertle could reconfigure the site plan so that the drive-thru lanes are at the rear of the restaurant buildings, Swenson said. “That’s what we’ve talked with them about, and we just haven’t heard back,” she said.
Bill Caram, chairman of the Orchard District Neighborhood, is aware that Ertle shelved the plan. At first he hoped the developer was considering a new kind of project in response to public outcry.
Despite the city’s position, the neighborhood remains opposed to drive-thru restaurants, Caram said. “Our neighborhood has bought in on the vision of the Bend Central District,” he said in reference to the code that encourages denser, pedestrian-oriented development. “I don’t think the neighbors’ problem with the development is setbacks.”
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