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-thru 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-thru 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.

John Schaffner

John Schaffner was founding editor of Reporter Newspapers.