By Jason Massad and John Schaffner
In the end, a neighborhood uprising in Buckhead regarding a plan by a future Mexican eatery to install a drive-through window near homes was much ado about nothing.
Turns out, Atlanta’s Office of Buildings “misinterpreted” the legal right of the restaurant to build the amenity within 100 feet of a residence.
Originally the office ruled that Pollo Tropical restaurant on 4402 Roswell Road would need a “special exception” to move forward with the drive-through window.
They don’t, which means that what could have been a lengthy government process is over for now. No one can say for sure if there will be another confrontation when the restaurant later applies for a beer and wine license, which it plans to do sometime in the future.
About a dozen residents that live near the proposed restaurant showed up in September for a contentious meeting on the matter at the Neighborhood Planning Unit B Zoning Committee meeting. One person claimed that “residents are already living under duress in a dangerous situation” and that the drive-through would add more traffic to the extension of Wieuca Road west of Roswell Road.
No residents showed this week.
“They didn’t show up because they knew it (is no longer an issue,)” said Sally Silver, chairwoman of the NPU-B Development & Transportation Committee.
However, the battle was not entirely lost by local residents.
The restaurant, through their lawyers, agreed to provide fencing and landscaping that will help create a buffer from nearby homes. Most importantly, perhaps, an access from the restaurant to Wieuca Road will prevent left turns toward the residential area.
People in the neighborhood behind the restaurant, basically a small, dead-end extension of Wieuca Road and of Lake Forrest Lane, were most concerned about additional noise from the drive-through speaker and additional traffic.
The new restaurant is planned for the property where Lucy’s Market now operates. It would stand next to a building that houses Batteries-Plus, U-Haul and Subway and is located near the corner of Roswell and Wieuca roads.
Tuxedo Festival center gets parking exception
The full board of Neighborhood Planning Unit B approved an application by the owners of the Tuxedo Festival shopping center to reduce its required parking from 301 to 210 spaces as part of major renovation to the center at 3655 Roswell Road.
The application by GDC Tuxedo, LLC, was previously approved by the NPU-B Zoning Committee at its Sept. 28 meeting with conditions agreed to by the North Buckhead Neighborhood and the applicant. Approval by the full board at its Oct. 5 meeting was done as part of the Zoning Committee’s consent agenda.
The applicant requested the change in parking requirements to allow for 10,647 square feet of restaurant space, 25,778 square feet of retail space, 3,012 square feet of bank space, 780 square feet for a tailor and 14,538 square feet for office and other space uses.
The conditions that were part of the application approval were that there would be a maximum of 27 percent of the shopping center space dedicated for restaurant use and 16 percent of the space allocated for uses of 1 to 300 square feet.
New tenants that will soon be opening at Tuxedo Festival include FLIP Burgers, which will be located at the corner of Old Ivy and Roswell Road in the center, Zoe’s Kitchen, which will be at the northwest corner of the center and a 14,000-square-foot bottle shop that replaces the Party City store that has been a fixture in the center.
One of the new features associated with the renovation of the shopping center will be the installation of traffic signals at the corner of Roswell and Powers Ferry roads. The main entrance to the center is directly across the street from where Powers Ferry dead ends at Roswell Road.
The installation of the new traffic signal was one of the recommendations that came out of the Piedmont Corridor study, which also recommended future changes at the intersection of Piedmont and Habersham Roads.
The center renovation also provides for an entrance off of Old Ivy Road.