In a 3-1 vote with one member absent, the Zoning Board of Appeals last week denied a variance request for Ellicott Development’s proposed retail and residential project at the northwest corner of William Street and Michigan Avenue, killing the project. Ellicott sought a variance to allow a drive-thru window critical for the project’s proposed retail anchor, Tim Hortons. Drive-thrus are not allowed in the N-2C zoning district.
From the Board summary:
Board denied the variance for “Drive-through not permitted” – due to the potential of the variance to alter the essential character of the neighborhood, which is defined in the Unified Development Ordinance as an N-2C Zone, which is a walkable neighborhood with periodic mixed uses and does not cater to vehicle traffic.
“Tim Hortons isn’t going to proceed without a drive-thru, so that project isn’t going to move forward,” Paladino said. “Without a drive-thru, they’re not doing the location, and we’re not going to do a spec building.”