The Brooklyn Park planning approved recommendation of a conditional-use permit for a new Burger King location at the northwest corner of Oak Grove Parkway and Xenia Avenue North.
Tri-City Foods, a restaurant franchiser, brought the proposal to the city.
The proposed restaurant would be built on a site previously purchased by Anchor Bank in 2006. The bank decided not to build a bank branch, and the property has been on the market for several years.
The proposed building would have two Nichiha panels, one smooth faced and one with a wood-grain texture. It would have a brick base, with red ceramic accent tiles placed next to the customer entrances. The roofline would feature a red back-lit band.
Jeff McDonald, director of facilities for Tri-City Foods, said this design is the most contemporary Burger King design, and is called the Garden Grill design.
Access to the site would be shared with Stone Mountain Plaza on Xenia Avenue because no driveways are permitted to Oak Grove Parkway. The building would feature outdoor seating and a drive-thru pick-up queue.
Two pedestrian walkways are proposed for the building. One is along Oak Grove Parkway and in front of the proposed building, and one is along the western parking area and connects to the patio.
Commissioner Michael Kisch said this area of the city was intended to be pedestrian-friendly, and a drive-thru did not fit with that objective.
“I don’t think it’s a bad looking Burger King,” he said. “I think all of that is fine. I think we have to hold into consideration the notion of Town Center zoning and what the Town Center wanted to be. I heard the term ‘pedestrian friendly,’ and nothing about a drive-thru facility speaks to ‘pedestrian friendly,’ even if there’s a sidewalk that connects to the sidewalk, in my mind.
“Looking at the ripple effect of this and, we’ve got one on the south side, and now there’s one right across Oak Grove, being proposed right across Oak Grove, the pattern that starts to develop is something that doesn’t support a pattern of pedestrian friendliness, and that’s my main concern with this,” Kisch added.
“I think we tend to kind of spot-plan areas, and we’re not understanding what the full community is going to look like when it’s done,” said Commissioner Carol Vosberg. “To take an area that was once designed to be like a town center and just start to chop it up and put all kinds of fast food restaurants, and those types of things in there, I think you’re taking away what the overall purpose was,” she said.
The commission should also consider the variety of businesses and restaurants in the area, Vosberg said.
The bank originally planned for the plot would have likely had a drive-thru, Commissioner Steve Schmidt said.
Commissioner Amy Hanson said it’s not unusual to see fast food clusters around the metro.
Kisch motioned to recommend denial of the conditional-use permit for the restaurant. The motion failed in a 3-5 vote. Commissioners Kisch, Marshell Morton-Spears and Vosberg voted in favor of the motion.
Schmidt motioned to recommend approval of the permit. The motion passed in a 5-3 vote, with Kisch, Morton-Spears and Vosberg dissenting.
The Burger King would be required to have its own sign rather than share one with Stone Mountain Plaza.
Proposed landscaping meets city code requirements, and a short landscaped berm is proposed to screen customer headlights.
The proposed site would incorporate design elements of Stone Mountain Plaza development plans, which were approved in 2015 and are featured on neighboring sites.
Contact Kevin Miller at [email protected]