Proposed drive-thru ban irks Timmy’s owner
By Elaine Mitropoulos, Comox Valley EchoMay 5, 2009
John Brocklehurst says he would think twice about opening another business in the Town of Comox should its council outlaw future drive-thrus.
“Even though it may not impact us at the moment, it could if we ever decide to go and open another store,” said the owner of three Valley Tim Hortons.
“I’m convinced this will get turned over at some point but would it impact my decision-making if they outlawed them? Yeah, of course it would.”
Brocklehurst admitted he had a vested interest in drive-thrus, saying 55 per cent of his customers accessed them.
“A lot of people use them for whatever reason, whether it’s for their own convenience or because they have to,” he said.
And while he understood the council wanted to be at the forefront of environmental change, he said he couldn’t understand why it was targeting drive-thrus as a source of pollution among “more obvious” culprits.
“I guess I’m not sure the purpose of it quite frankly,” Brocklehurst said.
“All the information we gathered up says that banning drive-thrus to prevent idling would have no real significant impact.”
Brocklehurst said he had yet to hear feedback from customers, but he was expecting them to come forward as the debate continued.
“I know most people tend not to speak – the silent majority,” he said. “But if they’re being impacted to that extent I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of feedback.”
Comox Mayor Paul Ives said realistically about four to six parcels around Guthrie Road could make way for future drive-thrus, but he didn’t want to deter new or old business from making the town its home.
“Everyone acknowledges that the current situation with the Tim Hortons is not ideal,” he said of the Anderton Road drive-thru that has seen cars line up onto the street.
“I think if they were wanting to move out of there because of the congestion that’s caused there hopefully they could move to another site in Comox.”
Even so, Ives has been pushing for the council to consider a more comprehensive approach to curbing idling in Comox, like a bylaw aimed at education and awareness.
“Other communities have had some success in passing those bylaws,” he said.
He too hoped the public would weigh in on the issue that has split the council.
If the council moves ahead with a rezoning bylaw, he said the issue would go to a public hearing.
“I would like to hear what people would have to say in the meantime,” he added.
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