The Zachary City Council signed off Tuesday on a site plan for a coffee shop that will be housed in a retro-style travel trailer in the Little Farms area.
But council members as well as residents of the area said they have concerns about how the business, called Coffee Time, will affect traffic.
Curtis Hymel wants to open the shop in an Airstream trailer on a 0.3-acre lot at Angus Avenue and Plank Road. The entrance would be on Angus Avenue — a source of contention with two residents of the street who were at the meeting.
Brian Capone and Robert Schwendimann told the council they’d prefer the entrance to be on Plank Road to avoid adding more vehicles to Angus Avenue, which they said many drivers use as a cut-through to avoid congestion and traffic lights elsewhere in the area.
Both residents, however, stressed that they are not against the idea of a new business coming to their neighborhood.
Eastern Zachary has long struggled to attract commercial activity. New business development is largely concentrated on the other side of La. 19.
“I am a big fan of the idea of any new development going on the east end of town,” said Councilman Hunter Landry. “But I am concerned about if you’re as successful as I hope you are, what effect that traffic is going to have?”
Ultimately, the council approved the site plan. Councilman Brandon Noel was quick to point out to Capone and Schwendimann that, except for the size of the lot, the plan complies with all aspects of the city’s development code — making it legally risky for the council to vote otherwise.
The council waived the 20,000-square-foot minimum lot size required by the land’s commercial general zoning classification.
Hymel didn’t get everything he wanted, though. The council rejected his requests to have a gravel parking lot instead of the required concrete and a wooden fence rather than a masonry one.
“We do have complaints about the east side and things being up to standard,” said Councilwoman Laura O’Brien. “I think this is an opportunity to make it look better.”
In other business Tuesday:
- Mayor David Amrhein said he’s directing city workers to paint over white lines on Rollins Road at the intersection with Church Street. The city recently changed the positions of stop signs at that intersection, but did not adjust the markings on the ground, confusing some drivers.
- The council introduced an ordinance modifying a law that designates Zachary as a bird sanctuary, making it illegal to kill birds in the city. The modification would create exemptions that allow hunting of doves and other game birds during their respective seasons.