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New Timmy's a gimmee in Alberni

A new Tim Hortons coffee outlet on 10th Avenue and Redford Street is another step closer to reality.

Port Alberni city council approved a development variance permit application by Tim Hortons management for the facility at the city's Monday night meeting.

The new single-storey building will be for takeout and delivery service only and will be located on the lot formerly occupied by a Shell Gas station.

Plans call for six parking stalls including one handicapped space. The business isn't a sit-down restaurant so parking regulations relevant to such facilities don't apply. The outlet will also have a patio area but only washrooms for staff.

While the development is popular and makes sense, some councillors still had concerns.

Coun. Jack McLeman said he was concerned about cars lining up at the outlet, as well as exiting left onto Redford Street. Coun. Cindy Solda expressed concerns about drivers accessing the site by turning into it off of Redford Street.

The company has examined the concerns and addressed them in the layout, TDL Group Corp. spokesperson Grant Mihalcheon said.

The store's drive-thru lane can accommodate 17 cars at any one time. The facility will have two order stations funneling into one pickup station, ensuring a smooth traffic flow and little to no spillage onto the road, Mihalcheon said.

TDL officials closely examined the issue of turning left onto Redford Street. Previously, council asked that a centre traffic median be installed on Redford Street to prevent left-hand turns. The measure had the potential to impact the viability of the business, according to TDL. As well, a median presented a challenge to the city when it came to clearing snow from the area.

Instead, TDL countered by suggesting that a concrete island be installed in the access driveway instead. The island would still allow cars to turn off of Redford Street onto the property. But it would restrict exiting vehicles to turning right. The measure won't completely stop left-hand turns but will reduce them, Mihalcheon said.

Freeman of the city Donna Brett spoke in favour of the development. Brett reminded Mayor John Douglas of his platform during his mayoral bid. “You spoke highly of being open to business,” she said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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