Taco Bell

The city council voted 5-0 this week to affirm the Edmond Planning Commission’s decision to allow the site plan approvals of the Taco Bell and Burger King restaurants on the west side of Kelly Avenue, south of Covell Road, south of Lowe's.

The planning commission’s 3-1 approval of the item on July 2 drew opposition from nearby residents. The commission’s vote was final. But neighbors appealed to the city council that the commission’s decision places children at greater risk when crossing the Covell Village Drive on foot to their neighborhood swimming pool basketball court, and playground.

The Covell Village residents did not represent the subdivision’s homeowner association, said attorney Todd McKinnis, representing the developer. The residents’ appeal was heard because they live within 300 feet of the site plan, according to City Attorney Steve Murdock.

The site is part of the Covell Village development which was zoned in 2005 as a commercial planned unit development allowing for mixed-use development, housing, commercial, and office uses, said Randy Entz, city planner. No variances were requested with the restaurant site plan.

“The site does allow the E2 (open display) uses which allows the restaurant use and many other commercial uses,” Entz said.

“I do not think drive-through dominant restaurants were intended for this area when the development was being created,” said Cory Shoemake of Brayhill Court.

Covell Village Drive was designed as a residential collector street. Today it services 296 residences, Shoemake said.

“I do not recognize most of the people speeding I see on this street as my neighbors,” Shoemake continued. “They are typically unfamiliar faces using this street as a cut-through from one major street to another.”

Shoemake pointed out that in June, a person was stopped by police for speeding 75 mph on the posted 25 mph street.

City Councilman Josh Moore asked the council to consider Covell Village Drive safety concerns. Murdock said pedestrian safety on the Covell Village Drive could be scheduled before the city council at a later date. Another option would be for city staff to examine the problem and report to the city council, Mayor Dan O’Neil said.

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