Coffee shop approved for northeast corner of Amsterdam Commons

TOWN OF AMSTERDAM — Brewing plans for a new coffee shop at the northeast corner of the Amsterdam Commons shopping plaza will move forward following approval from the Planning Board.

The Planning Board made short work of approving the site plan application on Wednesday for the 2,000-square-foot coffee shop proposed by Benderson Development. The cafe will be located along the right-hand side of the shopping plaza that is owned by the developer.

The cafe will be accessed through a new right-hand turning lane leading to a parking area with 24 spaces and a designated drive-thru lane winding behind the shop with room for up to 15 vehicles to queue.

New Planning Board Chairman Alex Kuchis noted that the application was approved last month by the Montgomery County Planning Board.

The Town Board on Monday appointed Kuchis to fill the vacancy created when former Chairman Brent Phetteplace was sworn in as councilman. Kuchis previously served as Planning Board chairman for several years and is a former member of the Town Board and Montgomery County Legislature.

Although the proposed coffee shop may result in a change in the level of traffic at the shopping plaza, Kuchis noted Wednesday that the project is not expected to result in any significant impacts under State Environmental Quality Review. The board also approved a related motion.

Traffic concerns around the entrance to the plaza were the main issue previously flagged by the Planning Board when the project was submitted. Updated plans turned in to the board last month addressed the concerns through the reconfiguration of the right-hand turning lane leading into the plaza off of Route 30.

The current two-lane merging traffic pattern will be controlled through a new yield sign for cars turning right into the plaza that will lead to a single traffic lane. The second travel lane will be restriped as a bump-out before it opens to the right-hand turning lane leading to the cafe.

There are no traffic concerns related to the drive-thru, which has space to exceed its intended 15-car queue by several vehicles before it would reach the interior plaza roadway. A line that long would likely lead to wait times of 30 minutes or longer, acting as a natural deterrent to any further traffic.

With no outstanding issues to address, the Planning Board approved the site plan application for the new cafe without any discussion.

The developer is targeting construction beginning in the spring for a possible opening in the fall. The name of the intended tenant for the coffee shop has not yet been made public.

Reach Ashley Onyon at or @AshleyOnyon on Twitter.

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