Plan commission approves Dunkin? Donuts measures
A new Dunkin’ Donuts could be coming to Rhinelander this summer following a meeting of the city’s planning commission Wednesday night.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the site plan and a conditional use permit to operate a drive thru restaurant at 1415 Lincoln Street.
Jon Gillespie, owner of E & J Development, has been working to bring the restaurant to Rhinelander and said Dunkin’ Donuts may build more than one store in the city.
“Dunkin’ Donuts is looking at Rhinelander as a place for multiple locations,” Gillespie said.
Gillespie and E & J Development are no strangers to bringing businesses to the city as the group has brought a McDonalds, Taco Johns, Rhinelander Dodge and Hodag Mobil to the area through development deals.
Gillespie said he would like to begin demolition Feb. 1 with a target opening date of June 1.
The majority of the discussion Wednesday night revolved around traffic patterns near the new store.
The location is across the street from The Home Depot and between Aldis and a strip mall. A Remax Reality Building currently sits on the site but will be removed so the new store can be built from the ground up.
But that location puts the entrance to the new restaurant across from a left turn lane near the stoplight at the intersection Lincoln and Coon streets.
So in attendance Wednesday questioned if that would cause traffic snarls if patrons turning left into the Dunkin’ Donuts store cannot due to traffic waiting to turn left at the light.
Fire Chief Terry Williams said the intersection is already of concern as it is sometimes difficult to make a turn into the strip mall parking lot with the current traffic set up.
“I am a customer at Cellcom and I know sometimes it is difficult to turn left into that drive way,” Williams said.
Commission member George Kirby suggested the commission ask the public works department to shorten the left turn lane and extend the center lane further down the road to alleviate the issue.
“I don’t remember ever seeing that turn lane full of cars waiting to turn [onto Coon Street],” Kirby said. “Couldn’t we just shorten that lane.”
The commission agreed to ask the Public Works Department to shorten the lane and approved both permits.