A committee of Buckhead development arbiters recently took issue with plans for a standalone Chick-fil-A’s parking lot as the franchise’s next location on a popular Atlanta street heads through the construction process.

Buckhead’s SPI-9 Development Review Committee, an advisory group for new projects in the district, noted during a recent meeting with Chick-fil-A reps that site plans for the proposed 3234 Peachtree Road restaurant include no designated walkways for pedestrians. The DRC recommended those pedestrian safety measures be implemented.

DRC members chided the plans for removing existing trees in that parking area. To compensate, the committee asked that trees either be preserved or replaced with trees with trunk circumferences larger than three inches—also recommending that Chick-fil-A work with Livable Buckhead to plant recompense trees along the nearby PATH400 trail.

The DRC also stressed the importance of implementing bike racks near the parking lot and entrances to encourage transportation beyond driving.

Code requires one bicycle rack for every 4,000 square feet of built space, with a minimum of two bike racks for non-office, non-residential uses, the committee noted. (DRC members also asked that the restaurant’s design consider accommodations for customers with dogs.)

Plans for parking behind the main restaurant structure. City of Atlanta Office of Zoning and Development

Broader context around the junction of Peachtree and Piedmont roads in Buckhead. Google Maps

The new Chick-fil-A is expected to replace the David’s Bridal Collections building fronting Peachtree Road, immediately south of Maple Drive and The Tower on Piedmont, a 20-story apartment high-rise. Plans call for it to span about 5,200 square feet and include 58 parking spaces behind it, accessed by a two-lane entry and exit. Unlike new intown Chick-fil-A locations near the BeltLine in Grant Park and one that debuted last month along Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Old Fourth Ward, the Buckhead restaurant would not include a drive-thru.

At its July 5 meeting, the DRC noted Chick-fil-A’s drive-up and park model for food pickup instead of a drive-thru could create "conflicts" in the parking area. Chick-fil-A reps “stated that delivery times will be restricted in order to minimize conflict in parking,” according to a meeting recap.

Chick-fil-A reps have requested a variation related to streetscape requirements that would allow sidewalks recently added as part of a Peachtree Road Complete Street project to remain. The DRC recommended that variation be approved.

But DRC members noted that plans for Chick-fil-A’s façade on Peachtree do not meet code requirements for fenestration—the presence of windows and doors—for at least 65 percent of the building’s length.

Committee members recommended Chick-fil-A’s team “either make modifications to meet the required fenestration per code, or if the proposed restaurant space cannot be modified due to interior operations limitations, the applicant [should] enhance the outside façade to improve the overall pedestrian experience.”

How the proposal's Peachtree Road frontage would meet existing sidewalks. Selser Schaefer Architects

The DRC did applaud plans for pervious surfaces throughout Chick-fil-A’s site plans in Buckhead.

Committee members requested that additional details for the project be submitted electronically back to them, but Chick-fil-A’s representatives weren’t asked to return to the DRC before the project moves forward with City of Atlanta staff.

The standalone Chick-fil-A is expected to eventually be part of a masterplan that allows for 399,000 square feet of retail in the area, with the rest of the commercial space spread across the 1.4-acre parcel. No timelines have been specified for when additional development could move forward.

The 3234 Peachtree Road site in question, as seen during Complete Street roadway construction last winter. Google Maps

Peachtree Road frontage for the 5,200-square-foot space is depicted at middle. Selser Schaefer Architects; via City of Atlanta Office of Zoning and Development


Follow us on social media: 

Twitter / Facebook 

• Buckhead news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)