Chick-fil-A asks for deferral in Tucker to explore buying another parcel

The corner of Hugh Howell Road and Rosser Terrace in Tucker. A plan by Chick-fil-A to build a new three-lane drive-thru restaurant at the former site of Greater Good BBQ, 4435 Hugh Howell Road, has met resistance from residents of Rosser Terrace. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Tucker, GA — There’s a new nugget of information on Chick-fil-A’s relocation after the fast food restaurant asked for another deferral at the Feb. 15 Tucker City Council meeting.

It’s the second deferral in a process that started in May 2021 to relocate Chick-fil-A from 4340 Hugh Howell Road to the former Greater Good BBQ at 4435 Hugh Howell Road.

Tucker Planning and Zoning Director Courtney Smith said a last-minute change from Chick-fil-A includes the potential addition of a second parcel, allowing another access point to the property. Variances would likely be added to the original application.

“The application is not ready for a full cycle deferral, as some of these elements are still in process and a little bit fluid,” Smith told City Council members.

Neighbors suspect Chick-fil-A is looking to buy a parcel on Dillard Road, behind Zaxby’s. If Chick-fil-A adds a parcel, the entire application process would start over – from Planning Commission to two reads at City Council and a vote.

“We’ve been here before,” said project engineer Bridgette Ganter, as she introduced herself to City Council.

“Chick-fil-A has come into more information,” Ganter said. “We realize that this is not a perfect application that’s being presented. The neighbors aren’t necessarily supportive of the other direction we went for the road closure. Some other information has come up and we’re not at liberty to disclose real estate. It’s still in the works, so their preference is to defer to the next Planning Commission meeting in March and then do the April and May City Council reads.”

In May 2021, Chick-fil-A held a public participation meeting with neighbors. The restaurant was denied recommendation by Planning Commission in September 2021, had a first read at City Council in November 2021 and asked for a deferral before the second read at City Council in December 2021.

In January, City Engineer Ken Hildebrandt and Planning and Zoning Director Smith held an in-person meeting at City Hall. Residents were invited to ask questions and provide feedback about a proposal to close Rosser Terrace.

“How much opposition do we have to have in order to stop Chick-fil-A altogether?” Mandy Finch asked at the January meeting.

Rosser Terrace residents have long complained about poor road conditions, speeding vehicles and cut through traffic from Tucker Industrial Road to Hugh Howell. But when Chick-fil-A applied to the city of Tucker to raze the former Greater Good BBQ building and create a bigger model, residents became more vocal.

Adding a high traffic restaurant to the entrance of Rosser Terrace will only make the problems worse, said residents. Rosser Terrace has no sidewalks, and some complain it is dangerous for kids to ride their bikes or play on the street.

City Council voted to defer the application to Feb. 28 to give Chick-fil-A time to explore potential changes.

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