The Edmond Planning Commission at its July 2 meeting approved plans for a pair of fast food restaurants near Kelly Avenue and Covell Road that drew opposition from nearby residents.
With Commissioner Rob Rainey absent, the group voted 3-1 in favor of Icon Consulting Engineers’ plans to build a Taco Bell and Burger King on the west side of Kelly just south of Lowe’s. Commissioners Mark Hoose, Barry Moore and Kenneth Wohl voted to approve, while Bill Moyer was opposed.
The site is part of the Covell Village development, which is zoned for mixed use to allow housing, commercial and office use, according to city planner Randy Entz.
The commission heard the plan at its June 18 meeting and delayed its decision until a meeting could be held between residents and developers.
Addressing one of the commissioners’ issues from that meeting, developers have upgraded their plans to include all-brick facades. The original plans called for brick, stucco, decorative metal and Exterior Finish Insulation System, which typically has the appearance of faux stucco.
The buildings will share 44 parking spaces, with entrances on private drives running east and west between the lot and Lowe’s and south from the property to Covell Village Drive.
Icon Consulting’s David Gregory of Southlake, Texas, said developers and residents met and discussed architecture, traffic, the detention pond and trash.
The developer will pay $8,000 to install a pair of blinking speed limit signs with built-in radar and will pay $2,000 to help the HOA recoup the cost of cleaning up trash in and near the detention pond.
Nearby residents speaking against the plan at the commission meeting focused on the fact that Covell Village was planned to be a “lifestyle center” with high walkability. These fast-food restaurants do not meet the criteria of a lifestyle center and threaten the neighborhood’s walkability, they said. They asked for a continuance to allow the homeowners association to form a position on the plan.
Gregory said developers have provided every study that the city has asked for, and it’s city code that does not allow direct access to Kelly from the development.
Hours of operation are also an issue for nearby residents and for commission chair Barry Moore, who pressed the developer’s representatives for a firm commitment.
“I don’t want to hear ‘It’s not our intention to,’” Moore said. “What are your hours?”
The developer’s representatives responded that neither their plan nor their application to the city called for 24-hour operation.
Gregory said Burger King committed in writing to operating Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. or midnight. Taco Bell’s hours are typically 7 a.m. to 1:30 or 2 a.m., he said.
Residents brought up the possibility of installing speed bumps on Covell Village Drive to slow traffic and discourage drivers from cutting through the neighborhood.
Steve Manek, city engineer, said the city could install speed bumps in a neighborhood if residents foot the bill.
“We haven’t had a lot of these done because we’ve done it in the past in some areas and people weren’t real happy,” he said.
Residents should call the engineering department for more information, Manek said.
Commissioners approved the site plan based on the new architectural plans, the developers’ contributions for speed limit lights and pond cleanup, and the operation not being 24 hours.