University Corridor Retail Strategy

image of various drive-thrus

On July 19, 2021, City Council held a public hearing for Ordinance No. 2021-O-07 and approved the ordinance allowing for restaurants and drive-throughs in the University Corridor. Meeting materials are available on the right side of the screen under City Council 2nd Reading and Public Hearing.

Highlights of the Ordinance

Based on public feedback the City included additional limitations and requirements within Ordinance No. 2021-O-07 for restaurants with drive-throughs in the University Corridor:

  • No more than seven (7) restaurants with drive-throughs will be allowed in the University Corridor, including existing restaurants with drive-through of which there is one (Burger King). The Streets at SouthGlenn is not included as it has different zoning.
  • Restaurants with a drive-through that have no indoor dining are required to provide a larger outdoor dining area as well as a non-vehicular ordering/service option so that customers are not required to be in a vehicle to be served.
  • The distance restaurants with drive-through must be set back from residential zoned properties has been increased from 100 feet to 150 feet, and from 50 feet to 65 feet if a building or road is in between the drive-through and residential property.


The City considered the allowance of drive-throughs along this corridor for several reasons:

  • City research has found nearly 30% of vehicles traveling along the University Corridor do not start or stop within the City of Centennial. This pass‐through traffic presents an opportunity to capture new customers from traffic already in the corridor.
  • Restaurant trends have moved in this direction before the pandemic, and have since increased. Restaurants with drive‐throughs report anywhere from 30‐70% of their revenue from drive‐through service.
  • Drive‐throughs have the opportunity to catalyze redevelopment because there is demand to build them today. This is especially true if the drive‐through is at the end of a multi‐tenant building. They allow retail center owners to increase the rents of existing multi‐tenant retail buildings with higher profile retailers that allow developers to spend more on additional renovation within the retail center.
  • We hear consistently that residents want local restaurant options. Local independent restaurant owners have approached the City, but have been turned away because their concepts include a drive‐through and are not allowed in the corridor today.
  • The proposed regulations require drive‐through development to provide pedestrian safety and design elements that will create a better experience in University Corridor retail centers.

View the Community Meeting Information

Additional public input was gathered in April 2021, via the City’s Have Your Say discussion forum tool. Click on the Discussion tab below to see the discussion. Have Your Say comments are part of the City Council Meeting Packet for Ordinance No. 2021-O-07.

Click on the City Council 2nd Reading and Public Hearing Monday, July 19, 2021 on the right side of the screen to view the City Council Meeting Packet.