Retirement community opposes fast food plans
Households in the Regency at Belmont retirement community next to a drive-thru fast-food project expressed unanimous opposition to the proposal.
Developer Regency Centers applied for a special zoning exception to allow a car service and gas station flanking a commercial area under construction along Claiborne Parkway. The fast food restaurant would be at the intersection of Claiborne Parkway and Belmont Chapel Drive, next to the retirement community townhouses on Stewart Gap Terrace and Hanes Hall Terrace.
The proposition is across Claiborne Parkway from a mall anchored by a Whole Foods.
Residents of each nearby townhouse, 18 households in total, signed a letter urging the county to deny the request, saying they were “horrified and angry” to learn of the fast-food plans.
“Toll Brothers did not inform us when purchasing our new homes that the adjacent commercial development would be a drive-thru fast food restaurant,” the letter read. “Instead, we understood that the upcoming business would be a low-impact, attractive, positive part of our quiet 55+ community, compatible with and beneficial to our neighborhood.”
They argued that the fast food restaurant is incompatible with the neighborhood, including potential early morning and late evening operations, ambient light, traffic, noise, and impacts to safety and home values. .
“…The proposed commercial uses are consistent with the Plan’s vision to create a vibrant mixed-use community in this area of the county,” the developer wrote in the rationale statement, which is part of the zoning application. “Commuters and other residents may initially be drawn to this location due to the auto service station and drive-thru restaurant, but increased travel through the property would likely also benefit other nearby commercial establishments.”
The application is still under review by staff and referral agencies. To get approval, it will have to go through public hearings at the Planning Commission and then at the Supervisory Board, which has the final power to approve or deny the application.
This article was updated on August 16 at 7:07 p.m. to correct an error in the name of the community.