QUINCY — A developer’s request to build a strip mall at 2032 and 2034 Broadway received strong support from the Quincy Plan Commission on Tuesday evening.
The vote to refer the matter to the Quincy City Council was 6-1, with three members abstaining.
Developer J. Michael Haubrich wants to develop office and retail shops on the lots zoned for single-family use. In his initial request, Haubrich said he wanted to build a three-bay strip mall featuring a cellphone retailer, a smoothie franchise and a delicatessen.
On Tuesday, Haubrich said his plans had changed slightly and that he was considering building a strip mall with two stores for a submarine sandwich franchise and a bistro specializing in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.
Staff at the Department of Planning and Development recommended approval with stipulations that there be no drive-thru lanes or alley access. They also requested a 15-foot fenced or landscaped sight-proof buffer along the south property line and that hours of operation would be limited from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Haubrich said after the hearing that he also would ensure that the development had limited exterior lighting and no exterior sound system.
The hearing sparked dueling speakers, including Haubrich, favoring the development and five speakers against it.
Also speaking in favor was Richard Willing, who said he has lived in Quincy long enough to remember when Broadway was a two-lane street. Willing said those opposing the development were offering the same criticism of those who opposed widening Broadway to four lanes in the past.
Among those speaking against the proposed development were Don Crim and Paulette Freiburg.
Crim said he feared project approval would lead to “more commercial creep” into a neighborhood that has repeatedly been mentioned in city planning and development studies as an area to remain residential.
“There are 15 homes on the north side of the road,” Crim said. “There are seven homes on the south side of the road. It is not like a lot of homes have already been torn down. We certainly do think that this is going to be a domino effect for the neighborhood.”
Freiburg said she feared the development would lead to “more traffic, more trash and more problems” in the neighborhood, which has been her home for 53 years.
City officials say construction remains more than a month away as it will take a least three weeks for City Council to approve the rezoning request and several weeks for the site plan to be approved.
In other business, the Plan Commission voted to refer a request from Family Entertainment Group LLC, which operates Bonkers on North 48th Street. The entertainment company seeks approval to sell wine and beer in Quincy.
Raymond Smith, a company representative, said Bonkers now sells beer and wine at six other locations in four states and has policies in place to “train staff to serve alcohol responsibly.”
The Plan Commission also approved a request from John R. Stroot to create a one-lot subdivision of property at 1305 S. 36th Street.
No one spoke against either request by Bonkers or Stroot.