May 26, 2022 - Food and Drink

Plans to build new Scooter's Coffee in Beaverdale hit a snag

A photo of a vacant gas station in Des Moines.

A Scooter's Coffee shop is proposed for this site, 4402 Douglas Ave., in Des Moines. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Developers looking to bring a new Scooter's Coffee shop to Des Moines' Beaverdale neighborhood are asking the City Council to step in after the Plan and Zoning Commission rejected their plans.

Why it matters: Developers want to open the shop at a gas station that has stood vacant at the corner of Beaver and Douglas avenues for more than a decade. It's one of the busiest intersections in the neighborhood.

Catch up fast: The City Council in December approved a request from Knapp Homes to rezone the site to allow for restaurant use with a drive-up window.

  • Demolition was expected in coming weeks and the coffee shop was slated to open in late spring, now-former councilperson Bill Gray said during the December meeting.

Flash forward: Des Moines is now pushing for the proposed 669-square-foot drive-thru building to include a patio to make the site more pedestrian friendly.

  • It's part of an alternative site plan being sought by developers that would waive some requirements associated with entrances and building design.

Yes, but: Outdoor seating would also require the site to provide public restroom facilities.

  • That would add to the building's footprint and not allow for enough queuing space to prevent drive-thru congestion, project designer Brandon Short told zoning commissioners last month.

Between the lines: The site, which is just over half an acre, is too small, zoning commissioner Todd Garner said during last month's meeting.

  • The property needs to be combined with adjacent properties to build something more appropriate for the location, Garner said.

What's next: City Council will consider the developers' appeal on June 13.

Of note: Officials from Knapp Homes did not return Axios' request for comment.


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