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Construction on a new Chick-Fil-A restaurant in the western end of town made progress Tuesday after Wilson officials approved a variance from zoning rules.
“Our only options are a variance, chopping of the corner of a canopy or moving the building back 50 feet, which would make it hard to see from the other side of the gas station and that also would make us further from U.S. 264 and Interstate 95,” said Wyatt Bone of Bohler Engineering. “We’d have to shift the building back 50 feet to make up for the three feet we’re asking for because of the shape of this lot and the right-of-way.”
According to the unified development ordinance, the building has to be 30 feet from the road. The plan for the Chick-Fil-A at 5100 Raleigh Road Parkway would mean the building is 78 feet from Lamm Road, but only 20.7-feet — plus six feet for the width of a canopy — from the main thoroughfare.
Bone said the N.C. Department of Transportation plans to make a number of improvements to the intersection and drainage, which is the reason a large portion of the lot is reserved for the right-of-way and makes the developable portion of the land an odd shape.
Chick-Fil-A owner Christy Proctor operates the eatery on Forest Hills Road and is set to run the new restaurant when it opens in August.
“Having another location to serve Wilson has been a dream for a long time,” Proctor said. “Each step toward getting things started is a mini-celebration.”
Also on the agenda was an appeal by Lamar Texas Limited Partnership, which wants to replace the existing billboard at 1613 Raleigh Road Parkway with a digital billboard. Zoning Administrator Rodger Lentz previously ruled a digital billboard was against the ordinance and Lamar filed an appeal for that decision.
Because no representatives from Lamar showed up to the hearing, members on the Board of Adjustment voted to prompt city staff to make contact again with Lamar and to continue the issue until the next meeting.