Rockwall Planning and Zoning Commission to hold public hearing on proposed Chick-fil-A

(ROCKWALL, TX — February 13, 2018) The Rockwall Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Feb. 13, regarding the requested approval of a Specific Use Permit for a proposed drive-thru-only Chick-fil-A at Yellow Jacket Lane and South Goliad Street. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at  Rockwall City Hall (385 S. Goliad St.) in the Council Chambers.

The 2,200-square-foot restaurant would be located at the site of the old EZ Mart and Pizza Hut buildings at the corner of Yellow Jacket and Goliad, adjacent to Luigi’s Italian Café. It would have no inside seating available, with the applicant, Randy Eardley, P.E. of Wier and Associates, Inc., proposing a walk-up window with around five tables on the patio to accommodate seating for 20 people. The proposed drive thru would be able to queue 19 total vehicles, with exits available on both Yellow Jacket and Goliad.

Mario Smajli, owner of Luigi’s in Rockwall, voiced his opposition to the restaurant during the City Council meeting on Jan. 16, 2018. According to the minutes of the meeting, Smajli told the council while he has no issues with Chick-fil-A as a business, the Chick-fil-A located on the north side of Rockwall has a “huge traffic problem” which has “choked out” one or two businesses located next to it. He also pointed out that since there’s no easement at the rear of his property, that people will likely use the back of his property to walk to and from the Chick-fil-A. He said that anyone doing so will be considered trespassing and that if anyone injured themselves on his property, he would get sued, causing his insurance costs to “skyrocket.”

In a letter to Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt from Daniel J. Porter, Vice President of Dynamic Development Company which controls the property where the proposed Chick-fil-A would go, Porter stated that he believes Smajli’s opposition to the restaurant stems from his unsuccessful negotiation to purchase the subject property last summer, and that Smajli is concerned another restaurant will “out-position” Luigi’s and create more competition.

But competition, writes Porter, “is good for Rockwall consumers, the free marketplace and for tax revenues.

“It is Chick-fil-A’s intent to design and build an attractive restaurant to serve the residents of the community, greatly improve the appearance of this blighted corner, and deliver maximum tax revenues for the people and the City of Rockwall,” wrote Porter.

Click here to view Porter’s letter in full in tonight’s P&Z meeting agenda.

According to a memo in the meeting agenda, the City Council denied approval of the restaurant on Jan. 16, in order to allow the applicant to address issues concerning traffic, parking and cross-access. The applicant submitted a revised site plan to address these concerns, which included a four-foot wrought-iron fence to go adjacent to the south and west property lines.

The memo also states that the applicant will also provide city staff with a parking agreement for 20 employee parking spaces on neighboring properties to allow all the parking spots on the site plan to be dedicated to customer parking, as well as a Traffic Impact Analysis to be reported to the P&Z during tonight’s public hearing.

The projected City Council meeting date and subsequent approval of the restaurant is Monday, Feb. 19 and Monday, March 5.

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.

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