DeKalb County again defers Chick-fil-A proposal to relocate drive-thru on North Druid HillsRendering of the plans for a new fast food restaurant on N. Druid Hills Road, submitted by Chick-fil-A.
By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor
Greater Decatur, GA — The potential relocation of a Chick-fil-A drive-thru on N. Druid Hills was put on ice on Nov. 18. DeKalb County Commission voted unanimously to grant the applicant a full cycle deferral to January 2022.
Now located near the corner of Lawrenceville Highway and N. Druid Hills Road, Chick-fil-A is proposing to relocate to 3795 N. Druid Hills Road, the former site of Pier 1 Imports, at Birch Road. Chick-fil-A applied for a SLUP and rezoning for a new national model – drive-thru and walk-up service only.
The applicant is being represented by attorney David Kirk, who said Chick-fil-A requested a deferral to continue discussions with county staff in transportation and planning to address transportation issues and traffic congestion.
A traffic study was not provided to residents, or presented during the meeting.
Brandon White, planning manager for DeKalb County Planning and Sustainability, said commissioners received an intersection study at N. Druid Hills and Birch Road, crash data and additional data regarding traffic and transportation. White did not respond to a request for data by Decaturish.
Kirk said the current site is congested and outdated. Adding a traffic signal at Birch Road will be an advantage to customers, he said.
“We’ve designed the site such that if there are additional improvements on N. Druid Hills Road, they will not impact the building on the site,” said Kirk.
Several neighbors spoke in opposition.
“We are not against, and I stress, we are not against every new development that touches our doorstep. As a neighborhood, we are so ready for the redevelopment of North DeKalb Mall but starting with one that is the antithesis of DeKalb’s stated goal of being a walkable, pedestrian-friendly town center is a mistake,” said resident Michael Pisani.
Neighbor Lynn Pasqualetti said the average car is in line at Chick-fil-A for seven to nine minutes.
“That is a lot of cars. Forty-one cars sitting there idling is really not something that our community, especially the people living directly across the street, need in our lives,” Pasqualetti said.
Commissioner Jeff Rader said the item was deferred for two cycles already “because many questions were unanswered, and that is still the situation now.”
“We have a lot of other moving parts in this area, including the redevelopment of the model site behind here as well as secondary impacts and the mentioned ARC funded corridor study,” said Rader.
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