Town, developers mull Culver’s, Dunkin’

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Developers are pursuing a Culver’s and Dunkin’ near the northwest corner of Mt. Comfort Road and Broadway in McCordsville. Dunkin’ would be on the west side of the property and Culver’s to the east.

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McCORDSVILLE – Town officials and developers hope to come to an agreement over a proposal for Culver’s and Dunkin’ at an intersection of two thoroughfares.

As their discussions continue, they’re working to balance town staff’s safety concerns, a restaurateur’s concerns over access to the site, and potential impacts to a longstanding veterinary clinic neighboring the location.

The site is at the northwest corner of Mt. Comfort Road and Broadway in McCordsville. Water retention would be on the east side of the location, with Culver’s in the center and Dunkin’ to the west. Ohio Street and two alleys currently cross through the site, while Indiana Street abuts its western border. Railroad Street abuts its northern border.

According to a plan associated with the project, Railroad Street’s intersection with Mt. Comfort Road would be curved southward, serving as an entrance and exit to the site that’s lined up with the entrance and exit to the Family Express across Mt. Comfort Road. The access to the Culver’s and Dunkin site would be right in, right out, with a median along Mt. Comfort Road preventing left turns.

Another access is planned off Broadway – for both eastbound and westbound traffic – near Hanna Street. Town officials note having the access that far from Mt. Comfort Road and almost lined up with Hanna Street promotes safety. But that would also put the access just east of Indiana Street, leaving them with concerns about traffic coming in and out of both locations so close to one another.

“Access management on corridors – you’re dealing with two things: How you’re planning to do access now, and also you’re having to incorporate what was done before,” McCordsville town engineer Mark Witsman said at a McCordsville Town Council meeting earlier this month. “We have a lot of road cuts along Broadway, and that’s not a good thing. As development occurs, we want to try to manage traffic and to limit the access points. There’s lots of examples in the state where they have too many access points on roads, and that’s where you get conflicts, you can see a lot of accidents, so if we have the opportunity to correct those as development occurs, we want to do that.”

Leaders would like to remedy their concerns over Indiana Street being so close to the Broadway access for the proposed Culver’s and Dunkin by getting rid of Indiana Street. A veterinarian across Indiana Street, however, notes the road is how delivery and trash pickup trucks access his property.

“I get it, the town has to grow and develop. I’m just asking it to grow and develop without impinging on my business that’s been there for 25 years,” Scot Harbin of McCordsville Veterinary Hospital said.

Rayme Swan is pursuing his fifth Culver’s location with the McCordsville proposal.

“We want to make something that works well for everybody, not just the new development coming in,” Swan said.

Tim Gropp, McCordsville town manager, noted that town staff initially wanted Broadway’s access to the site to be Indiana Street. But that would have required Culver’s customers to cross the Dunkin’s property, something Swan said Culver’s corporate executives would not be OK with.

Discussion eventually shifted toward the possibility of getting rid of Indiana Street and creating a private drive for McCordsville Veterinary Hospital that delivery and trash pickup trucks could use. The town council instructed town staff to meet with Harbin and the developers to pursue a scenario that all sides could accept.

The developments will need consideration from the McCordsville Board of Zoning Appeals and are currently slated for the board’s April 5 meeting at 6:30 p.m. at McCordsville Town Hall, 6280 W. 800N, McCordsville.