Planning Commission Recommends Rezoning For Taco Bell

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Taco Bell may be heading for the northern border of Waterville.

With the Waterville Planning Commission’s January 3 unanimous vote to recommend a zoning change on an acre of land at the corner of Dutch Road and Hutchinson Drive, plans for a 2,074-square-foot restaurant with a drive-thru are moving forward.

Waterville City Council will now consider a zoning change from C-1 neighborhood commercial to C-4 mixed use business district.

“The staff recommends the zoning change,” Waterville administrator Jon Gochenour told the planning commission. “Mc-Donald’s is C-4 and we think this is a comparable use.”

McDonald’s was built in 1997 and, like the land proposed for the Taco Bell, was annexed from Waterville Township in 2017. A C-4 designation allows for a drive-thru.

Dan Stone, owner of Van Horn Hoover & Associates, the design engineering firm for the Findlay Taco Bell franchise organization, outlined plans for the restaurant, drive-thru with 10 stacking spaces, lighting, landscaping, a fence for screening and parking for 19 vehicles, which can enter from Dutch Road and exit from either Dutch or Hutchinson, a street that is parallel to the Anthony Wayne Trail.

A traffic impact study shows that Taco Bell will generate an additional 100 vehicles per hour during the peak traffic times of 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. A traffic study by DGL Consulting Engineers shows an additional 13 left turns in the morning and 28 left turns in the afternoon from Dutch Road to southbound Anthony Wayne Trail. 

The planning commission recommended that in addition to a stone or brick monument sign, landscaping screening between the home to the east and a lighting plan, the Taco Bell owners install an additional 75 feet to the existing 100-foot left turn lane from Dutch to the AW Trail – something they agreed to do.

“I think the traffic can be managed,” Gochenour said.

The property at 6521 Hutchinson Dr., owned by Scott Bruhn of Waterville, was listed for sale through Reichle Klein for $199,999. Marketing materials by the commercial realtor list traffic counts of 2,094 vehicles per day on Dutch Road and 14,050 vehicles per day on the Anthony Wayne Trail.

The Kentris Taco Bell Franchise Organization of Findlay has 34 stores in Central and Northwest Ohio, including two in Perrysburg and two in Bowling Green.

Waterville City Council will hold three readings with a public hearing to decide on whether to approve the zoning change.

In the process of reviewing the Taco Bell proposal, the traffic study by DGL illustrated a need for a safety study at the intersection of Dutch and the Anthony Wayne Trail. 

Between 2017 and 2021, 25 crashes, including 11 injury crashes, occurred at the intersection. Of those, only one – a rear-end crash – was on the westbound approach from Dutch Road. DGL recommends that Lucas County and the city pursue funding from the Ohio Department of Trans-portation Highway Safety Improvement Program to conduct the study.

Check Also

Waterville Township Police Are Now Fully Staffed 24/7

BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Got a tip, a question, a complaint or a compliment for …