WINCHESTER — A proposal for a Dunkin’ Donuts at the corner of one of the town’s busiest intersections is dead for now after the planning board voted to deny its application.
S.S. Baker’s Realty Co. LLC’s application for a combination gas station and Dunkin’ Donuts at the intersection of routes 10 and 78 was rejected on the grounds of traffic concerns and the belief it overwhelmed the proposed site.
According to corporate filings with the state, S.S. Baker’s Realty is managed by Teofilo Salema, the owner of five other Dunkin’ Donuts, in Keene, Swanzey and Hinsdale.
The 3,265-square-foot, single-story proposed project includes a convenience store, six gasoline pumps and a drive-through Dunkin’ Donuts. Planning board Chairman Dean Beaman said the project met all of the board’s requirements, but board members spoke at length about their concerns with traffic and the size of the lot.
After almost 40 minutes of discussion, Beaman’s motion to approve the application failed 4-3.
Board member Kim N. Gordon then made a motion to deny the application, which she said “overwhelms the site and does not adhere to best design standards.”
“He’s trying to put three businesses into a postage stamp lot,” said Gordon, who added she would be fine with having only the Dunkin’ Donuts.
Fellow board member Jack Marsh Jr. added his traffic concerns to Gordon’s motion. Marsh said he was worried about the left turn out of the site along Route 10, parking along the shoulder of Route 10’s northbound lane and an overflow of traffic for the drive-through onto Route 78.
The motion to deny the application passed 4-2, with Larry Hill abstaining. Hill said although he agreed with some of the points in the motion, he did not understand other parts.
Salema and his land use agent, James P. Phippard from Brickstone Land Use Consultants LLC, left the meeting immediately following the decision.
Salema said he was disappointed, but declined to say more.
“There’s just so much I want to say, it’s not even worth it,” Salema said.
During the meeting it was clear whom he believed was responsible for the rejection, though.
When Gordon made her motion to deny the application, Marsh advised her to include her own reasoning within her motion. Salema, who was sitting in the audience, supplied one for her.
“Kulick’s,” he said.
During the course of the public hearing, the project received opposition from local grocery store Kulick’s Inc. through its attorneys. Kulick’s is less than a mile away from the proposed site on Route 78 and also operates gas pumps in the plaza where it’s located.
Owner Stanley S. Plifka Jr. said this morning he was happy about the board’s decision.
Plifka said he was not opposed to having a Dunkin’ Donuts in town, but thought it should stand alone, without the gas pumps.
“We need industry and not duplication,” said Plifka, who had previously spoken against adding a third set of gas pumps to the area surrounding the intersection.
In addition to Kulick’s gas pumps, there is also a gas station at the southwest corner of the intersection, diagonally across from the proposed Dunkin’ Donuts. Another gas station and convenience store is located in the center of town, just over a half-mile north on Route 10.
Salema and Phippard said after the meeting that they need to speak with their attorney before acting.
Phippard said they could appeal the decision to Superior Court, request the planning board reconsider its decision or re-file their application.
“That’s all allowed, but I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Phippard said.Garrett Brnger can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1436, or firstname.lastname@example.org.