Delaware City Council heard the second reading of an ordinance that would bring a Burger King restaurant to the city’s west side. However, if residents have it their way, the fast-food chain will find somewhere else to build.
Carrolls Corporation is seeking approval for a final development plan to construct an approximately 2,980-square-foot building on 1.14 acres between Crestview Drive and the private drive near First Commonwealth Bank that leads back to Ace Hardware. Currently, there is a residential home on the property that would be demolished ahead of the restaurant’s construction.
If approved, the building will be constructed out of old Irvington brick and Delaware’s signature limestone. Features of the building include a double drive-thru and 40 parking spots.
Near the site, West Central Avenue would be widened to create a left turn lane onto the private drive located just east of the proposed Burger King location.
Residents who live near the site have shown up to both readings to voice their displeasure with the planned restaurant. In particular, they have complained about the additional traffic the restaurant would bring to Central Avenue, which already sees a significant flow. They also expressed concerns with light pollution and the smell of flame-broiled hamburgers day and night.
During the first reading at the Feb. 11 council meeting, Jay Edwards, who lives in the house directly west of the property, expressed concerns about the front of his house basically facing the restaurant. Amanda Aldridge, of Carrols Corporation, discussed adding more trees on the west side of the build, in addition to the line of trees that already exist between the two properties, to provide more screening for Edwards’ home.
As Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle asked if council was ready to make a motion on the final development plan, Councilwoman Lisa Keller suggested the ordinance be taken to a third reading. Asked by Riggle why she felt a third reading was necessary, Keller said, “Typically, we take controversial projects (to at least three readings), and I’d say there has been a fair amount of controversy with this one.”
Riggle then asked if the developer had addressed all controversies, to which Keller replied, “I don’t know how the public feels about what (the developer) fixed … we haven’t heard from anyone.”
Dan Rand, a Delaware resident who lives on Crestview Drive, then took the opportunity to reiterate his concerns about traffic and smell, which he voiced at the previous meeting. In regard to the constant smell, Rand asked council, “Would you want to live next to it?”
Riggle laughed off the idea of the aroma of hamburgers being terribly unpleasant, and she ultimately reminded Rand that regardless, the property is already zoned appropriately for the restaurant and the smell won’t change that.
Councilman George Hellinger reminded Rand the developer isn’t responsible for all the traffic issues on Central Avenue, only the direct impact the restaurant will have on the road. He added the proposed left turn lane that would accommodate the restaurant’s traffic impact.
During the review of the final development plan at the planning commission meeting, Aldridge said the Burger King expects to serve 50 cars per hour during its peak times, which she said is during the lunch hours.
The third reading of the ordinance is expected to take place during the March 11 meeting. Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are held in the city council chambers at City Hall.