Tucker Northlake CID Executive Director says residents should back Chick-fil-A

The Chick-fil-A restaurant at 4340 Hugh Howell Road in Tucker on Jan. 19, 2022. A plan to build a new three-lane drive-thru restaurant nearby at 4435 Hugh Howell Road, the former site of Greater Good BBQ, has met resistance from residents of Rosser Terrace. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated.

Tucker, GA —The leader of an economic development group in Tucker says Dillard Street and Rosser Terrace residents should embrace Chick-fil-A’s plan.

Under the proposed relocation plan, that Chick-Fil-A restaurant would relocate to the former Greater Good BBQ at 4435 Hugh Howell Road.

Tucker Northlake CID Executive Director Matthew Lee said this week that if he was a resident of Dillard Street or Rosser Terrace, he’d be supporting Chick-fil-A.

“Chick-fil-A has gone the extra mile in making accommodations on every side. They’ve waited through an election cycle, offered to close one end of the road when people asked if they could and are now purchasing another parcel to make things better,” Lee wrote on social media on May 19. “If I lived on Rosser or Dillard, I would welcome the change. Property values will increase. Offers will be made and change will come the area will shift from auto-dependent to walkable because of the connection to Dillard.”

Tucker-Northlake CID is a private-public partnership focused on increasing economic development in Tucker. It aims “to increase economic value in the community by leveraging business and government investment in the district” according to its website.

Tucker Northlake CID has no vote on the Tucker City Council. The chair of the Tucker Nortlake CID, Brad Spratte, owns the  Chick-Fil-A at 4340 Hugh Howell Road.

Before the pandemic, Rosser Terrace residents have been asking for sidewalks, traffic-calming and better traffic control from major streets onto residential roads.

Residents said at the Jan. 24 public meeting they’d welcome a new business, just not a busy drive-thru that restricts access to their street and drives more traffic onto residential roads.

“[Chick-fil-A] continually said that they’re not adding traffic to us to our neighborhood, but they are adding traffic to our neighborhoods. … it is already really difficult for just school buses to drop off children and emergency vehicles to run down these roads,” said Kristen Jenkins, a resident of Rosser Terrace.

But Lee said residents should support Chick-fil-A and hope the city gets involved.

“Rather than opposing it, I would lean in harder and support. If I lived on Dillard, I would be asking my neighbors to offer to donate land to the city for sidewalks. Free land speeds up the process,” Lee wrote. “The investment of Chick fil A will draw just enough attention to get the city thinking more about the area.”

Lee said he “would not be concerned with city staff recommending denial.”

“The council has the authority to make changes and approve things the code doesn’t understand,” Lee wrote.

Lee told Tucker Observer he believes important points have been left out of the discussion.

“Two of the important points that have been left out of the discussion are the need for improved walkability and economic development south of Lawrenceville Highway and Hugh Howell,” Lee said. “I think Chick-Fil-A went above and beyond to try and make this work. They’ve entertained nearly every idea presented and doing so elongated the process.”

Chick-fil-A will return to City Council for a second read on June 13.

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