The question of may be up for debate at an April 9 public hearing, but Tolland zoning regulations also still prohibit one of the more common drive-through window uses: drive-throughs for food service.
The Merrow Road may be the business most visibly affected by those regulations. Assistant Manager Mike Stamboni said the ban on drive-throughs has been a challenge.
"We're still doing very well, but a drive-through could double the traffic at the very least," he said. Stamboni noted that the store sees a definite dip in customer numbers whenever a drive-through Dunkin' Donuts opens anywhere remotely near Tolland.
He added that convenience is an important factor for many customers, especially during bad weather.
"I see people coming in and if they don't see a drive-through, they will literally drive away, and I hate to see that. We're here to make business."
Dunkin' Donuts employee Lisa Carey-Michaud said that many people will ask her why the store, located right off of I-84, does not have a drive-through option.
"They're amazed that we don't have a drive-through," she said. And while she said the current store design could probably accommodate a drive-through with only moderate reconstruction, she did stress that she was worried about the possible effect a drive-through could have on the busy Route 195 traffic.
"My only concern is people making a left out of here," she said. She cited the Vernon McDonald's off of exit 67 as an example of how a busy drive-through can create frustrating traffic congestion.
According to a , Director of Planning & Community Development Linda Farmer explained that traffic intensity was a large factor in banning food service drive-throughs from town in the late 1980s.
In an informal poll on Tolland Patch, 66 percent of respondents said they think the town should allow drive-throughs for pharmacies and food service businesses.