Zoning amendment clears way for Dunkin’ Donuts

The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved an application for a Dunkin’ Donuts at the former Beacon Falls Pharmacy on North Main Street in Beacon Falls. -ANDREAS YILMA

BEACON FALLS — The Planning and Zoning Commission has amended the zoning regulations to pave the way for a Dunkin’ Donuts to open downtown.

The commission amended section 31 of the regulations to allow a drive-thru at a bank, financial institution or food establishment at its Oct. 17 meeting.

“I think that it allows us to open the opportunities for business in the downtown area, which is something I think is a good opportunity for the local economy and economic development,” Beacon Falls Economic Development Coordinator Sadie Colcord said during the meeting.

The commission amended the regulations a week before accepting and approving an application to build a Dunkin’ Donuts at the former Beacon Falls Pharmacy at 20 North Main St. during a special meeting Oct. 24. The commission’s approval of the application takes effect Friday.

Robert and Marion Bradley opened the independent pharmacy in 2005. After almost 15 years, they closed in August and sold their business to Market 32 by Price Chopper in Oxford.

James Doherty from Canton, Mass., applied for the donut shop. Doherty said work still needs to be done to the building and the parking lot before the Dunkin’ Donuts can open.

Commission Chairman Kevin McDuffie said allowing drive-thrus for restaurants had been suggested in the past, but the commission never moved forward with amending the regulations until now.

“For years that zoning regulation stated no food distribution through a drive-thru window,” McDuffie said. “In order for Dunkin’ Donuts to get the drive-thru in the old pharmacy building, the regulations had to be amended.”