Starbucks hoping for window service

Starbucks has drive-up windows in other communities, such as State College and Lewisburg, and now the restaurant and coffee house is planning to add the service in Williamsport.

On Monday, the operator of the Starbucks at the Basin Street Shopping Plaza received a positive recommendation for a conditional-use permit that would allow him to begin the modification of the business, should City Council grant it.

Owner John Albarano II, of Basin Street Associates, said he was pleased with the recommendation by the City Planning Commission, despite some normal questioning regarding parking and aspects of safety assurance for existing customers and those who’d eventually use the widow service, if approved.

Albarano assured the commission the window service would not impede parking or cause any safety hazards. To ensure the proper design, Albarano said he has been working with engineers with Starbucks. He said the modification would require some construction, deconstruction and addition of landscaping.

Commission member Clifford Rieders, an attorney, asked Albarano to what extent he thought the drive-up window would affect the safety of those parking at the business or leaving it.

The proposal would have the drivers come up to the window on the east side of the building and leave via Academy Street.

Chris Keiser, an expert in urban landscape design, said it might be worth Albarano reviewing the design plan to see if adding perpendicular parking spaces might make sense. Answering a question, Albarano said he estimates that about 150 cars would utilize the drive-up window each day.

Gary Knarr, the city zoning officer, said Albarano will have to return to the commission for requests for certificates of appropriateness for signs that would be installed as part of the drive-up window service.