Traffic concerns slow down Wendy's proposed for West Wareham

By Matthew Bernat | Jan 10, 2018
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Town officials want more information on traffic before approving a Wendy's drive-thru proposed for a shopping center at the corner of Tobey Road and Cranberry Highway.

Wareham’s newest shopping center could soon house a Wendy’s, provided the developer earns a reprieve from the town’s drive-thru ban.

On Wednesday, representatives from the J. Donegan Company, a Virginia-based development firm, sought permission to include a drive-thru in a 2,400-square-foot Wendy’s restaurant slated for the Wareham Marketplace.

Located at the corner of Tobey Road and Cranberry Highway, the mixed-use commercial center saw the opening of an Aldis supermarket in November. An Autozone is also planned for the area.

J. Donegan Company owner Jay Donegan is seeking more tenants, and he said Wendy’s has expressed an interest. Donegan and Matt Smith, a representative from Bohler Engineering, appeared before the Zoning Board of Appeals at a public hearing seeking a drive-thru.

While board members have the authority to grant permission for a drive-thru despite the ban, which has been in place for seven years, they said an increase in traffic was concerning.

“I am for drive-thrus,” said Chair Nazih Elkallassi. “But I think that corner is very tough for a drive-thru. It’s going to add a tremendous amount of traffic.”

Planning Board member and West Wareham resident Marc Bianco agreed, adding that elected officials had a duty to avoid planning mistakes made in East Wareham.

Bianco said he favored new business, but noted that public safety should come first and that traffic accidents are draining town resources.

“We need more jobs. We need more revenue…We cannot repeat what’s happening on Cranberry Highway,” said Bianco. “It’s pretty much a suicide road.”

The night before, Planning Board members debated bringing an agenda item to Town Meeting in April that, if approved, would lift the drive-thru ban. Selectman Alan Slavin urged the Zoning Board to hold off on a decision until that issue was decided.

Smith said the matter was time sensitive and was hopeful construction could start this spring. He promised to return to the Zoning Board in two weeks with an updated traffic study on the site, saying that may alleviate the board’s concerns.

“We’re very interested in this working well,” said Smith.

The public hearing was continued to Jan. 24. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Service Center.

Comments (14)
Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jan 11, 2018 07:53

There is a large parking lot there. Just don't have any entrances or exits near  wendys and all is fine. They can que up in the lot without being out in the road.  Who has contacted Sonic to bring them back to Wareham?

Posted by: joycebakes | Jan 11, 2018 08:04

I would love POPEYES.  Best fried chicken.


Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jan 11, 2018 08:40

Popeyes would be great. I think a Golden Corral would be great too. I hope all these economic committees that are formed are reaching out to let them know Wareham is open to business and want them here. Instead of 40b reptiles slithering their way into town, we should be promoting business to come here.

Posted by: Doctor Deekas | Jan 11, 2018 09:45

We should keep the drive-thru ban for now. Having Wendy's create a new headache in West Wareham and leave East Wareham does our Town no good. They are NOT going to leave East Wareham unless we make it easy for them to do so. We are flirting with a ghost town over in East Wareham now, this wouldn't help our Town to make this change.

Posted by: barnstorm | Jan 11, 2018 10:04

Wendy's move to West Wareham ?  YES..........Bring it


Posted by: Phredzzz | Jan 11, 2018 13:07

SPHEREBREAKER has it right. There is plenty of Parking-Lot Space available for a Drive-up to exist within the Lot and NOT place unusual traffic Loads on the surrounding Roadways. Comparing West Wareham to a problem which was created in East Wareham over decades of growth Spurts is like comparing Wareham to Boston. West Wareham growth is relatively new and Traffic issues can be easily addressed if the right people are involved in the implementation of the correct solutions. Think Downtown Bump-Outs and you can easily see that the citizenry of Wareham probably has a long ways to go before we have the right people doing the Job.

Posted by: felinesmom | Jan 11, 2018 16:11

Wendy's cant keep personnel in the East Wareham outlet as it is now, there are many hours that the dining room is closed and even the entire place has been closed during regular business hours.  How are they planning to solve that issue?  What is the Town gaining?

Posted by: TOOTTOOT1 | Jan 11, 2018 19:23

What happened to the Olive Garden that was coming to town

Posted by: barnstorm | Jan 12, 2018 08:17

Love to see Olive Garden come into the CrossRoad Plaza!

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jan 12, 2018 08:37

Ugh!! NO TO WENDY'!! Why are we allowing stores to close down in East Wareham only to pop up across town? I'm with you on this one Doc....don't make it so easy for them. Bring in a restaurant not another fast food chain.

Posted by: Uptohere | Jan 12, 2018 14:52

its up to the Wendy's if they want to leave e Wareham. Its up to the board about the parking and drive thrus. Mm Maybe they can get better employees in w Wareham then they have now.

Posted by: Zephyr | Jan 12, 2018 16:23

I would love to see a Golden Corral too.

I just hope this move doesn't turn out like it did with Friendly's.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jan 12, 2018 20:32

You guys on the West side can have Wendy's. The one at the current location is disgusting and it is in desperate need of the same renovations that Hong Kong island got. Like felines noted, they can't keep help as it is.

Posted by: Knocked for six | Jan 13, 2018 11:15

I think we need to ask the BOH what food type restaurants would best benefit the overall health of Wareham residents.

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