On the Zoning Board of Review agenda for August 16th is a proposal to demolish Clarke Flower Shop on Hope Street and replace it with a drive-thru “coffee shop.”
SCHARTNER FLORISTS, LLC, OWNER AND ACREI, INC., APPLICANT: 394-398 Hope Street, also known as Lots 35 and 36 on the Tax Assessor’s Plat 9, located in a Residential R-3 Three-Family Zone; filed an application seeking relief from Sections 303-use codes 56.1 & 57.2, 604.2 and 607.1 pursuant to Section 200 in the proposed demolition of the existing flower shop (6,545 square feet) and the construction of a new building (2,475 square feet) for a new coffee shop with drive-thru. The applicant is requesting a use variance for this proposal within the residential district and seeks dimensional relief from regulations governing signs. The lots in question together contain approximately 19,624 square feet of land area.
The Zoning meeting is August 16th starting at 5:30pm at Providence City Hall, 25 Dorrance Street, in the Probate Court Room on the 5th floor. This item is second on the agenda so should be heard very close to 5:30.
This Google Map shows how many children are in the area of the proposed drive-thru.
Neighborhood concern is that the drive-thru will present a safety hazard to the hundreds of children that are in the area every day.
As you can see from the Application quoted above, the applicant needs several variances in order to build the proposed coffee shop including a use variance due to being in a residential zone, and a sign variance.
Greater City Providence opposes the creation of ANY drive-thrus within the city of Providence. Further we oppose the demolition of the existing 6,545 square foot building which is visually interesting, built to the street, and contributes positively to the streetscape of the neighborhood. We have no doubt, that the proposed 2,475 square foot building (drive-thru or no) will be a far inferior structure to the existing structure.
We encourage the developer (whichever coffee chain it is) to take a look at Seven Stars up the street in Hope Village and the Dunkin Donuts on Gano Street to see how coffee shop can reuse and existing structure at the former, and be built to the street and function without a drive-thru in the latter.
Residents of the area, especially those who have children attending the schools in the area, are encouraged to attend the Zoning meeting to make their opposition known.