Chick-fil-A coming to Keller Town Center

Posted Tuesday, Mar. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Keller City Council unanimously approved a Chick-fil-A restaurant at Town Center at the intersection of Rufe Snow Drive and Keller Parkway that had been rejected in February by the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

The crowd was thick at the March 5 meeting but only seven people spoke during a public hearing with three people opposing and four in favor of the restaurant.

Speakers in opposition were concerned about too many chicken places on Keller Parkway and having another fast food restaurant in Town Center, which they felt would be more suited for a sit-down eatery.

“This particular corner is in fact one of our more famous corners, a great deal of economic development has been done in this area,” said Chalmer McWilliams, owner of the McDonald’s restaurant across the street from the proposed development. “We need to be true to ourselves and our city to be sure that the snapshot and the picture of our main intersection at Keller Parkway and Rufe Snow, as people drive through and approach our town, see Keller as we want it presented.”

McWilliams told council to be mindful about where restaurants are placed so there is more diversification and more support of existing business owners in the area.

“The placement of certain restaurants in our city is very important to consider, so as to be able to allow the entire piece of pie to be enjoyed by the business community,” he said. “It would be my desire that Chick-fil-A has an opportunity to be in Keller but I’m not sure that on this corner is the best place.”

John Hoffmann said as a councilman, he should not pick and choose which restaurants to allow in the city but rather make sure their business plan follows the standards set in city ordinances.

“I don’t see it as my job to allow one business and turn around the next day and deny another ... the free market will take care of itself,” Hoffmann said. “I think this is a good project for Keller. I’ve listened to all of the input but in the end, in free enterprise, everybody wins including the city of Keller.”

Council also approved the addition of fuel pumps at Tom Thumb.

The Planning and Zoning Commission Feb. 11 denied recommendation to council for the Chick-fil-A with a 4-3 vote and voted in favor of the gas station with a 4-3 vote.

Since that meeting, Regency Centers, the applicant/owner of the property, lowered the number of varience requests to the Chick-fil-A including reducing the number of proposed signs from four to two, the number allowed by city ordinance for the restaurant.

Council members, however, discussed the need for a sign above the building’s main entrance and suggested the applicant add a third sign. Council also suggested the applicant add the iconic flagpole to the location.

Four pumps that will serve up to eight vehicles will be installed immediately south of the Chick-fil-A restaurant. In addition to the pumps, a canopy over the fuel pumps and a 640 square-foot kiosk will be built.

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