Scooter's Coffee

Scooter’s Coffee, a chain with nearly 400 locations nationwide, plans a Litchfield location on U.S. Highway 12 East.

Those looking to get their caffeine fix soon will have another option in Litchfield.

The site plan and sign variance for a Scooters Coffee on a vacant lot on U.S. Highway 12 East received City Council approval during its meeting Sept. 20.

Scooter’s Coffee is a national franchise with nearly 400 locations, many in the Midwest. The company was founded in 1998 in Omaha, Nebraska, and it has plans to double and possibly triple in size in the next couple of years, according to Tim Scott, who will own the local franchise.

The local operation will be built on the Scooter’s “drive-thru coffee” concept. It will have no indoor seating and the building will be only about 635 square feet, according to plans shared with the city.

The building will be located on a three-tenths of an acre lot at 602 U.S. Highway 12 East, a vacant lot just to the west of Pizza Hut, on the south side of the highway. It will face north, with entrance to the business from the west off Davis Avenue.

Signage plays a key role in the business plan, as it seeks to attract customers traveling on Highway 12. The building will have prominent signs on four elevations on all four sides. The business also will have a “monument sign” on the northwest corner of the property.

In addition to site plan, Scott requested variances to the city’s parking requirement and sign regulations. With only drive-through service, the only parking needed by the business will be for employees, so they planned only five parking spaces — far fewer than city code requirement of 63.

Signs on all four sides of the building, and the monument sign — which Scott said in his application is required by the company — also required a variance. City ordinance permits a maximum of four signs for on-site advertising with a maximum size of 100 square feet per sign. The Scooter’s will have two signs of 43.5 square feet, two circular logos of 18.25 square feet and the monument sign which is 54.8 square feet and would stand 12 feet high. While the total signage square footage of 178.8 will be less than the allowable 400 square feet, but the number of signs exceeds the maximum of four, so the variance was required.

Litchfield Planning Commission recommended approval of the variances after reviewing the plans during its Sept. 13 meeting, and the City Council obliged unanimously.

No date has been given for the start of construction.