Kelowna council will allow a Tim Hortons drive thru to be longer than planned.

Kelowna council always has time for another Tim Horton’s drive-thru

Council overrules its planning department and agrees to allow a longer than planned drive thru lane.

In the end it was just a storm in a tea cup — or make that a coffee cup.

Despite a city staff recommendation that it not be supported, city council has given the green light to a Tim Horton’s drive-through at a planned new small retail mall development to be located on the old Pier Mac sand and gravel site across Highway 97 from the Kelowna International Airport, near Quail Ridge.

Developers said while they already had approval for a smaller dive-through at another building on site, it needed a larger one one that could handle more cars in order to attract the popular Canadian coffee shop.

But the city’s planning department said the planned new 12-car drive through lane did not meet city development guidelines and, as a result, it could not support the request.

But council unanimously supported the additional large drive-through lane, noting vehicles in the lane will not be seen from the highway because it is lower than the grass berm that divides the property and the highway. The developer has also agreed to install wooden fencing and landscaping to shield the lane from view. The tops of the buildings on site will be visible, however, as will the signs identifying the business there.

The new retail development, which will be anchored by a Nestor’s grocery store, is also expected to have a fast-food restaurant on site.

Because of its location, near the airport, QuailRidge, the Sheraton Four Points Hotel and the UBCO campus, it is expected to be busy.

The previously identified building with the shorter drive-through lane is to be located near the only entrance to the property, on Pier Mac Drive, and the developer’s representative said that was not suitable in part because the drive-through could only handle two cars. Also, any back-up could impede traffic entering the mall’s parking area.

In the end, council voted to allow the larger drive-through in a redesigned version of the mall.