Farmington Panera drive-through faces a few hurdles

Panera Bread in Farmington has applied to add a drive-through to the building it has occupied for more than 20 years.

Planning Commission members on Monday got their first look at plans. But the project has a few hurdles to overcome, starting with the proposed location: a city alley.

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Panera Drive Through

Also drive-throughs are allowed in the C-2 zoning district with a Special Land Use permit that requires the applicant to meet five specific conditions. During the same Monday meeting, planning commissioners denied a similar application for a Burger King at Grand River and Lakeway. 

Economic and Community Development Director Kevin Christiansen said the public right-of-way on the east side of the building at Grand River and Whittaker provides access to Dumpsters used by Panera and the neighboring strip center. He said the city could provide an easement for use of the alley.

Commission chair Kenneth Crutcher asked about noise from the drive through; there’s a residential neighborhood just south of the restaurant.

A company representative pointed out that the trash enclosure would be reoriented across from the ordering speaker, with a new 6-foot retaining wall behind it. The new wall also lines up with an existing boulder wall.

Christiansen said this is the third time that Panera has approached the city about adding a drive through.

“The challenge with this site is going to be how to retrofit with the existing building and conditions,” he said.

Commissioners set an August 12 public hearing.

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Read supporting materials, look at plans, and view the meeting video at

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