Lincoln bans drive-thrus in downtown area

(FOX40.COM) — New drive-thru facilities will not be allowed in the downtown area of Lincoln after a city ordinance was recently adopted to ban them.

“The lots in downtown are smaller and are not designed to accommodate the space needed for queuing drive-thru vehicles,” said Lincoln Community Development Senior Manager Efren Sanchez at the Nov. 14 city council meeting.

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He added that a ban on new drive-thru facilities would prevent traffic from spilling onto downtown Lincoln streets.

The city discussion about prohibiting drive-thrus in the area began at a planning commission workshop on May 17.

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“We had a possible developer suggest a Starbucks in our historic downtown, and that prompted the planning commission to take a look at our ordinance for drive-thru restaurants in that area,” said Lincoln city council member Holly Andreatta.

She said she was “100% in agreement” with not having drive-thrus in downtown Lincoln because the ban would preserve the “hometown feel and the historic heritage of that area of town.”

The motion was passed at the Nov. 14 city council meeting by councilmembers William “Bill” Lauritsen, Ben Brown, and Andreatta. Mayor Paul Joiner and councilmember Dan Karleskint were not in attendance.

According to the new ordinance, businesses that already have a drive-thru will not be impacted as long as they continue to operate as a drive-thru and don’t have longer than a 12-month interruption of that use.

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