By Yustin Riopko
CHARLOTTE – The Chick-fil-A on Woodlawn Road near Park Road might be getting a face lift.
The Charlotte City Council heard a petition Dec. 17 that would allow the company to demolish the existing building and construct a new one on the 0.8-acre plot.
The remodeled Chick-fil-A would offer no indoor seating. Instead, the company will install outdoor seating and expand the single lane drive-through to two lanes at the point of order. The drive-through would taper back into a single lane for the pick-up window, and there would be canopies over the ordering and pick-up station allowing Chick-fil-A staff to serve cars out of order if their food is ready faster.
Parking and circulation would remain similar, but would be limited to only right-in and right-out.
John Carmichael, an attorney representing the development team, reasoned this sort of change will be good for traffic in the area, helping to reduce the queuing of cars off of the property onto Woodlawn Road.
“The point of this is to increase the stacking of vehicles on the site and to make it more efficient by way of a new and modernized kitchen,” Carmichael said. “The reason for this is that 83 percent of their business is either drive-through or carry-out.”
John Kinley, senior principal planner for the city, explained the rezoning is necessary for these changes to happen, because the current zoning doesn’t allow restaurants with no indoor seating.
“Staff recommends approval of the petition on the resolution of a couple minor site design issues,” Kinley said. “It is consistent with the [2013 Park-Woodlawn Plan] recommendation for a mixture of retail and office uses. It’s consistent with the plan’s emphasis on improving the pedestrian experience.”
Council members could vote on the rezoning petition as early as next month. If it passes, this will be the first Chick-fil-A of its kind in Charlotte.