NEWBERRY ‒ Newberry residents may soon have a new option for upscale coffee and more as the Newberry Board of Adjustment (BOA) approved a site and development plan petition for a new drive-through café. JBrown Professional Group, Inc., agent for Preston Property Development, LLC, owner, submitted the request for approval for approximately 950 square feet of drive-through café and related site development on 1.26 +/- acres for an Elliano’s Coffee. The site is located at the southwest corner of West Newberry Road/State Road 26 and Doc Karelas Drive.

The proposed drive-through café provides drive-through windows on both the east and west façades with an approach on north and south. Site access is provided on the east from Southwest 246th Terrace. The future retail building was not included with this application and will require separate Site and Development Approval.

The building and landscaping will be developed with the anticipated standards and regulations included in the City of Newberry’s Gateway Overlay District regulations.

REO Fire Truck

BOA members also approved a Site and Development Plan application for an approximately 500-square-foot building ancillary to the City of Newberry Fire Department Building. The building is intended for storage and display of the antique 1954 REO Fire Truck and will be located at 310 N.W. 250th Street. The zoning is Commercial Intensive (CI).

The building will have a glass wall on the north façade. Additional pathways and landscaping are also proposed to improve the areas around the structure. The building will provide a new home for the vehicle as well as provide display given its historic qualities.

In approving the application, Board members asked staff to meet with the building’s architect and engineer to determine if a center column could be removed to improve visibility of the fire truck. They also requested staff consider raising the elevation of the building.

Although the basic design and styling of the chassis remained consistent, the REO Speed Wagon, which was produced by REO Motor Car Company from 1915 – 1954, was manufactured in a variety of configurations to serve as delivery, tow, dump and fire trucks, as well as hearses and ambulances. The REO Speed Wagon was designed by Ransom Eli Olds and subsequently took on the designer’s initials.

After decommissioning the fire truck by the Alachua County Fire Department, the truck was used in City parades to carry City Commissioners during various celebrations.

“This fire truck provides a connection to historical events and persons of importance to the City of Newberry and it is being preserved for its connection with the past, its craftsmanship and honors the legacy of firemen that have served the citizens of Newberry,” said City of Newberry planner Jean-Paul Perez.

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