Farm­ing­ton Ap­proves Dairy Queen Plan

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Lynn Kutter

FARM­ING­TON — The Plan­ning Com­mis­sion ap­proved two new projects for the city Mon­day night: a new Dairy Queen Grill & Chill and a wood pavil­ion to pro­vide out­side din­ing for Damon’s BBQ.

Com­mis­sion­ers ap­proved a large scale devel­op­ment plan for Dairy Queen, which will be owned by G.T. Man­age­ment and lo­cated at 310 W. Main St., the cor­ner of Main and Dou­ble Springs Road.

Af­ter ap­prov­ing the plan, Com­mis­sioner Bobby Wil­son joked that the most im­por­tant ques­tion of the night was when would he be able to or­der a cheese­burger and DQ Bliz­zard.

Ch­eryl Zotti with G.T. Man­age­ment replied the restau­rant should be open in the mid­dle of July. Con­struc­tion will start as soon as the city is­sues a build­ing per­mit to the firm, she said. The new Dairy Queen will have 2,612 square feet and seat 70 peo­ple.

The ap­proval of the large scale devel­op­ment plan was con­tin­gent on sev­eral com­ments made by city en­gi­neer Chris Brack­ett of McGood­win Wil­liams & Yates of Fayet­teville. For in­stance, a fi­nal drainage re­port is re­quired and a drainage struc­ture will be re­quired to pre­vent runoff from flow­ing over the side­walk.

The land­scape plan on the pro­posal does not meet the city’s land­scape or­di­nance but the Com­mis­sion in­di­cated it would be open to ap­prov­ing a vari­ance for the project.

The Plan­ning Com­mis­sion is re­vis­ing the or­di­nance to make it less in­ten­sive and mem­bers said Dairy Queen could use the re­vised or­di­nance in its land­scap­ing.

Jorge Du Quesne with Blew & As­so­ci­ates En­gi­neer­ing and Sur­vey­ing said the park­ing lot for the restau­rant is next to the street right of way and does not leave room to plant trees along Dou­ble Springs Road and Main Street. He said the owner would be open to

plant­ing trees that are meant to go along the street frontage in other ar­eas on the prop­erty.

Wil­son rec­om­mended against plant­ing any trees along Dou­ble Springs Road. He pointed out school kids dart across that road and as the trees get big­ger, it could be a safety haz­ard.

“Some­one will be hit be­cause they will not be seen be­cause of the trees,” Wil­son said.

Com­mis­sion mem­ber Jay Moore said he agreed with Wil­son’s sug­ges­tion but also asked Quesne to find a “happy medium.”

Moore added, “When you are plan­ning for land­scap­ing, do as much as you can to keep trees and shrubs on the prop­erty. When some­thing new comes in, we’re try­ing to step up.”

Af­ter the meet­ing, Zotti said Dairy Queen will em­ploy 80- 85 peo­ple and will serve break­fast, lunch and din­ner. This is G.T. Man­age­ment’s first DQ but she said the firm may open other DQs in the fu­ture.

In other ac­tion, Larry Bow­den with Damon’s BBQ & Grill asked the Com­mis­sion to waive the re­quire­ments of a large scale devel­op­ment plan for his new pavil­ion. The struc­ture will be lo­cated on the prop­erty at 60 E. Main, be­tween Briar Rose Bak­ery and Dol­lar General Store.

The Com­mis­sion voted to waive some of the re­quire­ments. As part of the vote, Bow­den agreed to pave the park­ing lot at the front of the prop­erty, sub­mit a drainage plan and a land­scape plan. If he de­cides to build a new restau­rant on the land in the fu­ture, then Bow­den will have to com­ply with all re­quire­ments for a large scale devel­op­ment plan.

Bow­den said he plans to keep most of the large trees on the prop­erty and Com­mis­sion mem­ber Judy Horne thanked him for do­ing that.

“Thank you for try­ing to save those beau­ti­ful, big trees,” Horne told him.

Bow­den said he does not plan to plant as many trees along the perime­ter of the prop­erty but will have land­scap­ing around the pavil­ion.

“I want it to be a park­like set­ting,” Bow­den told com­mis­sion­ers.

The ap­proval of Bow­den’s pro­posal was con­tin­gent on com­ments made by Brack­ett about the plan.

The com­mis­sion also set April 25 as the date for a pub­lic hear­ing on the re­vised land­scape plan.

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