TPZ flips on Five Guys' plan; OKs burger outlet on second try
Fire up the grill.
The Town Plan and Zoning Commission on Tuesday flipped its decision on an application to open a Five Guys burger restaurant at the Kings Crossing shopping center, unanimously approving a certificate of compliance for the chain to open an outlet in the new complex.
The TPZ several weeks ago denied the application, citing a lack of 12 parking spaces, even though the applicant's lawyer, William Fitzpatrick, had argued the developer was entitled to a credit for parking spaces lost because of a shared driveway created with Home Depot next door. Following that rejection, Fitzpatrick took the application to the Zoning Board of Appeals and received a waiver for those 12 spaces.
TPZ Commissioner Richard Jacobs wanted to know what hardship was cited when the ZBA granted the waiver, since a hardship must be demonstrated for that board to act.
"That was before the ZBA," Assistant Planning Director James Wendt said, "not us. I wasn't at the meeting. I don't know what they argued before the ZBA."
Jacobs said he wanted to make it clear that the TPZ wasn't voting specifically on a Five Guys outlet, but rather a generic restaurant use for the site. "We could vote on it and next week they could come back with a different restaurant. It was never about Five Guys."
Commissioner Douglas Soutar said the ZBA "apparently has a different view" of the parking situation at the new shopping center, which is anchored by a Whole Foods Market and also includes a recently opened CVS store. Also scheduled to open are a Chase bank office, PETCO and Chipotle Grill.
As a condition of approval, Five Guys would need to annually seek re-approval from the TPZ for outdoor seating, a standard requirement for restaurants in town that offer such seating.