Drive through draws concern

Architect of proposed 27,000 square foot commercial complex in Lake Country says drive through business is critical to success

  • Aug. 17, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Kevin Parnell

Black Press

The architect of a proposed 27,000 square foot commercial complex on Lake Country’s Main Street says the inclusion of a drive through business is critical to the success of the development.

Brian Quiring of MQN Architects appeared at a public hearing on Tuesday night in Lake Country presenting the developer’s view of the proposal which will include four commercial buildings, one of which includes a drive-through window.

“We’re getting pretty excited to see this project come to fruition,” said Quiring. “We believe the drive through is a good thing for this development and a good thing for this community.”

The major commercial development along Main Street has received preliminary approval from the District of Lake Country. The public hearing was called to deal specifically with the issue of allowing a business that will operate a drive-through window, an issue that has come up in several ongoing developments including the proposed Main Street development, which is planned for a long-vacant lot at the corner of Highway 97 and Pollard Road.

Rezoning is needed to allow for a drive-through restaurant, a use currently not allowed in the zone.

Lake Country resident Paula Diakiw was the lone member of the public to speak at the hearing and said she was not in favour of a drive-through for the area.

“I don’t have anything against anyone wanting to bring a business to Lake Country, however I feel strongly that we have too many drive-throughs,” said Diakiw. “Drive throughs bring people that idle their cars and then rip out of the parking lot. Stopping your car and getting out is not a bad thing.”

Drive-through restaurants and banks are getting a fair amount of attention in Lake Country this year as at least three different commercial developments all feature proposed drive throughs.

Quiring said despite popular opinion, a drive-through business doesn’t bring negatives into a development.

“From a convenience standpoint we believe it’s a good thing for people with a disability, the elderly and people with young kids,” he said. “If there is no drive through, a lot of the time people park, leave their car running and run in (to the business). Or else they are driving around looking for parking. The benefit is keeping the dollars in the community, getting this as a catalyst for the downtown core and really starting something in the area that will be a benefit to everybody.”

Lake Country council also received two letters in support of the drive through and one against it. Council will have to vote on the issue at a future meeting.