May 24, 2022

Dunkin Donuts Drops Essex Zoning Appeal for Relocation

ESSEX— Dunkin Donuts will not pursue a zoning permit appeal to relocate in to vacant former restaurant space at  31-33 Main St. in the Centerbrook section. Zoning Enforcement Officer Joseph Budrow said Thursday JMB Properties LLC of Cheshire earlier this week withdrew an appeal to the zoning board of appeals of his denial of a zoning permit to locate in the former Debbie’s Restaurant space at the 31-33 Main St. building.

The company was seeking to relocate the town’s only Dunkin Donuts from shared space at the Shell station at 23 Main St. to the vacant former restaurant space at 31-33 Main St.  The current location is counter service only, while the proposed new location at 31-33 Main St. would have seating.

JMB partner John Weinstein had claimed the relocation should be allowed under a simple zoning permit because the Dunkin Donuts use was the same as the former restaurant use. Budrow denied the permit application, maintaining the relocation could only be allowed under a full special permit from the zoning commission, a process that requires a public hearing.

The zoning board of appeals was scheduled to hear the case at it’s Feb. 19 session, but that same day JMB Properties requested a postponement of the hearing to the board’s March meeting. Budrow said there are now no applications pending for the former restaurant space, which has been vacant for more than two years.