The Buford Board of Commissioners heard from two applicants during their monthly meeting who wish to open drive-thru restaurants. The meeting was held on Tuesday, September 5 in the Commission Chambers at Buford City Hall. 

The first applicant, Capitalist Ventures, Inc. applied for a special use permit to allow for a drive-thru restaurant to be located at 3829 Buford Drive. The property is situated in front of Walmart and is where a Waffle House once operated.

Capitalist Ventures, Inc. stated that they wish to construct and operate a Starbucks on the property. They asked for several variances for the number of parking spaces and architectural features. 

The special use permit was unanimously approved with conditions that include:

  • The number of parking spaces will be reduced from 13 to 11
  • 73% of the parking spaces shall be allowed in front of the building
  • The building shall have a flat roof design instead of a pitched roof
  • The site plan shall include 10-foot wide and five-foot side landscape strips per code

The second drive-thru restaurant special use permit applicant was represented by David Kirk, attorney for Chick-fil-A. They requested a special use permit to construct and operate a Chick-fil-A restaurant at 1605 Buford Highway. The location is in the shopping center with At Home and Auto Zone. It will be constructed on the left side of the main entrance to the shopping center directly across the entrance from Firehouse Subs (formerly Krystal). The location is currently serving as a parking lot. 

The applicant stated in the application that the restaurant will not have dine-in service and will only serve customers through the use of a drive-thru and a walk-up window.

The application was unanimously approved with conditions that include:

  • The front setback will be reduced from 75 feet to 22 feet
  • There will be an enhanced landscape plan along the frontage of Buford Highway and the existing entrance between the right-of-way at Buford Highway and the back of the curb of the drive-thru lanes (approximately 22′)
  • They must hire an arborist to determine the health of the existing trees with any trees found to be in distress or dying must be removed and replaced
  • The number of parking spaces for the entire shopping center will be reduced from 346 spaces to 204 spaces
  • The building will have a flat roof instead of a pitched roof
  • The construction of a retaining wall must not have negative drainage impacts on downstream properties or on the adjacent road
  • The retaining wall must be constructed using decorative brick or stone to match the architecture of the building

As of the date of this article, city planning staff did not have an estimated date of completion for either project.

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