Purcellville agrees to two new drive-thru restaurants
Two residents came to voice their complaints about the new restaurants, but the Planning Commission recommended all three permits during the joint hearing.
The first special use permit, 13-01, is for a 5,015-square-foot restaurant in the northeastern lot of the shopping center. Roadside Development, the owners of Purcellville Gateway, originally intended to build a two-story, 22,000-square-foot office building in the lot.
Special use permit 13-02 is for a two-lane drive-thru running along the south side of the same restaurant.
While Roadside would not openly state who will own the drive-thru because the potential owner has not signed the lease, the restaurant's hours and Planning Commission comments indicate that the restaurant will be a Chick-fil-A.
The third permit, 13-03, is for a 3,500-square-foot drive-thru in the southeastern portion of the shopping center. It would go in front of the fountain in an empty lot between I.J. Cann's and the future Wine Kitchen. A Starbucks may possibly take this location.
Andrew Heronimz, a Villages of Purcellville resident whose backyard abuts the northeastern lot, attended to voice his complaints about the larger drive-thru.
“This evening, I sat in the Kohl's parking lot [in Leesburg] about 50 feet away from the fast food restaurant located there. Let me tell you, on an 85-degree day in the summertime, the smell of peanut oil, waffle fries and chicken tenders – it's not pleasant,” he said. “I believe that fast food restaurants are not appropriate for any neighborhood.”
The Town Council and Planning Commission took concerns like these seriously during their discussions.
The Planning Commission recommended the two-lane drive-thru on five conditions. Two of these concerned the privacy of the nearby neighborhood: the owners of the restaurant must replace any buffer trees when they die, and the hours of operation must be limited to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Still, not all were in favor of recommending the permits: 13-01 passed 5-2 and 13-02 passed 4-3.
Planning Commission Member Ben Packard voted against both permits. He thinks the drive-thru restaurant would add excessive noise and traffic to the community.
“It's going to be a different beast” than the original office building," Packard said.
Special use permit 13-03 passed unanimously.
Excepting Mayor Bob Lazaro, who was absent, the Town Council passed all three permits unanimously.
While Wiley said that he would have preferred an office building for the northeastern lot, he still voted for the permits.
“It seems a little difficult to tell a business what they can or can't do with their property,” he said.
Kevin Bednoski, the project executive for Purcellville Gateway, said that Roadside is completing the site plans for the Board of Architectural Review to approve.
Roadside hopes to begin construction on the drive-thru in the southeastern lot by the end of the year, with some of the new tenants opening their restaurants by early 2014.
“We're very excited about the outcome tonight,” Bednoski said. “We're always cognizant of the concerns that the community has.”
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