Barrington Planning Board delivers approval to Chipotle plan

Plan for new restaurant now heads to Zoning Board

By Josh Bickford
Posted 3/8/23

The Barrington Planning Board has approved a plan to build a new Chipotle restaurant on County Road.

The unanimous vote, taken during a meeting on Tuesday night, March 7, advances the Chipotle …

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Barrington Planning Board delivers approval to Chipotle plan

Plan for new restaurant now heads to Zoning Board


The Barrington Planning Board has approved a plan to build a new Chipotle restaurant on County Road.

The unanimous vote, taken during a meeting on Tuesday night, March 7, advances the Chipotle plan to the Barrington Zoning Board. The development team for the Chipotle restaurant is seeking some relief from a few zoning regulations.

The Planning Board vote signaled progress in the property owner’s push to transform the former gas station into a restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining, new landscaping, and a walk-up window in the back for picking up online orders. 

“We’re really looking forward to the redevelopment of the site,” said Ken Caputo, the president of Caputo Project Delivery Solutions. Caputo is leading the development team for the new Chipotle. 

Unlike a previous plan to build a Starbucks at the former gas station property, Caputo and his team are not calling for a drive-through lane. That feature is not permitted for the parcel and eventually resulted in the denial of the Starbucks proposal. 

At Tuesday night’s meeting, members of the Planning Board questioned the Chipotle development team on the building’s exterior, which will include a mix of windows and an energy efficient thermal cladding material called EIFS. Board members also asked about exterior lighting on the property, the number of bicycle racks planned for the restaurant, and the sewer line capacity. 

Some residents who abut the proposed Chipotle property also shared their concerns or questions — what color will the fence be that separates the restaurant from abutters? Are there any “trash protocols” or composting? Will the exterior lights be “dark sky compliant”? What time do food and supply deliveries to the restaurant take place?

After an hour-long discussion, Planning Board members approved the proposed Chipotle plan with five conditions: 1. That an additional bike rack be added to the plan; 2. That any light pollution be eliminated; 3. That the developers meet with the abutters; 4. That Chipotle properly maintain the landscaping on the parcel; and 5. That the Barrington Zoning Board review the sewer capacity when making its final recommendation. 


Roni Phipps, chair of the Planning Board, asked about the exterior material that will be used on the Chipotle building — she said a member of the town’s Technical Review Committee had questioned whether EIFS was a high quality product. 

Dan Radman, the design manager for Chipotle restaurants, said the stucco exterior would be high quality. He said the EIFS stucco exterior is used at most of the restaurant locations. It would be gray and off-white in appearance. 

Planning Board member Lawrence Bacher said he would prefer a more New England look, such as clapboards, instead of stucco. Bacher said a Chipotle in North Conway, NH featured a different exterior material. Phipps, echoing Bacher’s comments, said Barrington does not want to look like a land of fast food restaurants.

Phipps also asked the town’s solicitor if the Planning Board had the power to determine that a stucco exterior did not fit in here in Barrington. The solicitor, Amy Goins, said the Planning Board did not have that power, but the Zoning Board could apply conditions to the plan’s approval.

Peter Bassett, who represents the property owner, reminded Planning Board members that the restaurant would feature extensive landscaping to buffer the exterior. 

Later in the meeting, Planning Board member Bill Kurtz voiced concerns about the board dictating a condition based on the building’s exterior material. He said the TD Bank located next door to the Chipotle property features a mostly glass exterior. He said the Chipotle building will be very similar. 

Planning Board members Greg Lucini and Brian Rua agreed with Kurtz.

Bike racks

The development team entered Tuesday’s meeting with a plan that called for one bike rack, but left the meeting with two bike racks. 

Rua encouraged the developers to have more than a single rack, as they should expect the restaurant will attract a lot of young people. He said the restaurant should expect to see bikes overflowing across the property. 

Phipps asked if the development team could find an additional space for a second bike rack. There had also been some discussion about possibly exchanging some of the proposed parking spaces for an additional bike rack. (The plan calls for 30 parking spaces, which would be located behind the restaurant.)

Brett Neilan, an engineer with the company GM2, said they had considered the additional bike racks but after weighing some of the challenges of the property, they settled on the single six-bike rack. 

But during a brief discussion, Caputo shifted gears and located a section of landscaping toward the eastern edge of the property that could be altered to allow for a second bike rack. That move earned an endorsement from Planning Board member Brian Morley and others.

Later in the meeting, Lucini asked if the existing sewer line for the property could handle the output from a Chipotle restaurant. Neilan explained that the town’s department of public works would need to sign off on a sewer permit before the work could proceed. 


Toward the end of the meeting, a handful of residents shared their comments and questions with the board and the development team. 

Larry Trim had a series of questions — he asked if the fence could be a different color (brown or gray instead of white); if there were trash protocols or composting; if the light fixtures were “dark sky compliant”; and what time food and other supplies would be delivered to the restaurant. 

The development team members said the fence would be white, as it offers a nice backdrop for the landscaping; the trash will be removed on an as-needed basis, and there will be no composting on-site; the exterior lights will be “dark sky compliant”; and food and supply deliveries will occur between midnight and 5 a.m. Deliveries will take place three or four days a week, depending on the volume of product sold at the restaurant. 

Radman said Chipotle does not have freezers — all food is fresh, not frozen. Radman also said the parking lot is designed so that a delivery truck would not need to back up. 

Lucini said a different Chipotle representative who attended the recent TRC meeting said deliveries would be in the morning hours, not overnight. According to the draft minutes from the TRC meeting, the development team said most deliveries are in the morning, after the restaurant opens at 10:30 a.m. 

Goins she was not sure if the Planning Board or Zoning Board had ever imposed delivery time restrictions in the past. 

A short time later, Rua proposed the motion to approve the plan. 

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