Proposal for coffee shop lukewarm

HUDSON – A proposal for a retail restaurant, possibly a Dunkin’ Donuts, stalled Wednesday night over concerns about the drive-through window.

The Planning Board raised several concerns about the proposal’s possible impact on traffic on Central Street with cars entering and leaving the site and backing up at the drive-through window.

The application was continued until the Jan. 24 meeting. Board members said they wanted Town Engineer Tom Sommers to determine whether a traffic consultant was needed to study the area and decide what traffic improvements may be needed.

What exactly is proposed for 207 Central St., the home of the former Meadows restaurant, is not known. It may be a Dunkin’ Donuts, engineer Richard Maynard said.

The restaurant will be around 2,000 square feet and have 26 seats and a drive-through window. According to Maynard, there is enough room on the site for 19 cars to be in line for the window.

Noting that Central Street is one of the busiest roads in Hudson, board member Marilyn McGrath questioned what was proposed.

“You’re not being specific about what’s being proposed here,” she said. “What’s being proposed determines the traffic.”

McGrath said she wanted to see a stipulation that if there were a problem with traffic spilling onto Central Street, the drive-through window would be closed.

“I really think given the problems we’ve had with the Lowell Road site, it would wise to see what we can do to prevent those problems in the future,” she said.

Some questioned whether a business like Dunkin’ Donuts would work in the area.

“I’m not going to vote for a business with a drive-through window,” Planning Board member Suellen Quinlan said, adding: “A Dunkin’ Donuts on this site is not going to work. (We) can’t make another traffic snarl in town.”