A Chick-fil-A proposed for 100th Street Southwest in Lakewood is expected to draw big crowds its opening weekend, but after the initial rush traffic impacts should be minimal.
That’s according to a traffic analysis done by Transportation Engineering Northwest and submitted to Lakewood Public Works engineers.
Once open the restaurant could bring an additional 702 car trips during the week to the stretch of 100th Street Southwest between Lakewood Drive and Bridgeport Way.
An opening date for the fast-food restaurant chain has not yet been made public.
Preliminary design plans show the restaurant and its 50 parking spaces would be configured so that customers enter from the shopping complex, not the street.
Engineers have proposed eliminating two driveways from 100th Street Southwest that provide access to the complex that also houses Rent-A-Center, Hobby Lobby and Big Lots.
A driveway from Bridgeport Way and one from 100th Street Southwest would remain.
“We’re significantly improving the traffic pattern at the intersection,” said Ed Hale, project manager with 4G Development and Consulting. “There won’t be cars slowing right there at the intersection with 100th Street. They will be entering further east.”
Hale spoke Thursday before Lakewood Hearing Examiner Phil Olbrechts. The California-based company has applied for a conditional use permit to build a drive-thru at the restaurant.
So far the conditional use permit is the only permit 4G has applied for, according to Lakewood development staff.
Other city permits needed for the proposed 4,529-square foot restaurant include a site development permit and building permit.
A demolition permit also is needed to tear down The Schooner Pub & Galley and Black Star Espresso buildings.
The city has not received an application to tear them down, according to David Bugher, Lakewood assistant city manager and community development director.
During Thursday’s hearing one woman spoke about the loss to the community if the Schooner is demolished. The restaurant opened at that location in 1972.
Responding, Hale said the decision to replace the Schooner with Chick-fil-A was made by the land owner not the Georgia-based fast food chain.
“The owner of the property is the one who offered it to us,” Hale said.
Addressing concerns that the drive-thru could slow traffic on 100th Street Southwest, Hale said the new configuration “will not allow the drive through queue to back up into the public right of way.”
The proposed drive-thru will be two lanes that could hold up to 23 cars. It will run parallel to 100th Street Southwest and landscaping would buffer it from the road, according to preliminary plans.
When it comes time to open the company will pay for uniformed, off-duty police officers to manage traffic to limit impacts to the busy intersection.
Hearing examiner Olbrechts left the record open after Thursday’s hearing to allow 4G representatives and city planners to continue negotiations about traffic mitigation requirements. Olbrechts expects to make a decision by mid-March, he said.