The Rome-Floyd Board of Adjustments decided to table an application to reshape three parcels on Turner McCall Boulevard after a large number of Old East Rome neighborhood residents voiced their concern.
The application is to reshape the former Long John Silver's restaurant adjacent to East Seventh Street. The application requests to reduce the setback by 15 feet, reduce the landscape strip along Turner McCall to 12 feet and to allow existing parking spaces accessible within 10 feet of a street right of way line.
The applicant plans to build a Popeyes on the parcel with two drive-thru lanes.
Senior Planner Brice Wood said that because the parcels are already zoned community commercial, any fast food restaurant or commercial business can use the existing building and start a business there, regardless of how it is shaped now.
However, several members of the public, including residents of Old East Rome neighborhood, were opposed to the application.
Christa Jackson, who serves as the Director of Admissions and Advancement at St. Mary's Catholic School, said she is most concerned for the traffic that will come with a new restaurant.
St. Mary's is located the street customers would use to access the Popeyes. With the increased traffic, Jackson is concerned about students' safety on the road.
Other residents of the neighborhood, including City Commissioner Jamie Doss, voiced similar concerns. Wendy Combs, who attended the meeting with her two young daughters, also said she doesn't want the character of the neighborhood to be affected by the growing commercial businesses of Turner McCall.
After hearing from the public, none of the board members made a motion to approve or deny the request. Board member Terry Williamson eventually made a motion to table the application for the next meeting so that the board members can better digest the information.
The final vote is expected to take place at the Dec. 17 meeting.