By David Rotenstein, Messenger editor
Fox Bros. barbecue restaurant returned to the CPNO zoning committee Nov. 6 with an update on their plans to expand parking at their popular DeKalb Ave. eatery. Jonathan and Justin Fox updated the committee and about a dozen residents on efforts to address questions that were raised during last month’s zoning meeting.
The pair brought revised site plans and a tree inspection survey prepared by arborists hired to evaluate trees on the three newly acquired DeKalb Ave. lots where the restaurant hopes to expand its parking. They also noted that they met with Josephine Street neighbor Dan Flicker and are continuing to work with restaurant management to ensure that employees are not violating local traffic and parking laws. One employee, they told the group, had been fired after a complaint was received about traveling the wrong way up the one-way Josephine Street.
The latest discussion focused on intermediate steps the restaurant can take to relieve overflow parking and traffic on Candler Park streets. Fox Bros. said they are actively searching for a site to relocate their catering business. This will eliminate some traffic and open up additional parking now used by the restaurant’s catering vans.
Residents and members of the zoning committee urged Fox Bros. to bring a traffic expert to the table to evaluate what type of study could provide useful data on whether curb cuts and other measures would be effective mitigation to the traffic issues. Fox Bros. also said that they would seek MRC (mixed use residential-commercial) zoning for the new lots and zoning committee members suggested that the entire property (four parcels) be rezoned MR-C1C, with conditions attached preventing expansion of the existing building’s footprint.
Residents continued to express concerns about the compatibility of a new surface parking lot with the neighborhood and the new Candler Park Master Plan. Look for additional details from the meeting in the December Messenger.
In addition to the Fox Bros. discussion, the zoning committee had two other cases on its agenda. The owners of a home at 422 Sterling Street appeared with a proposal for a setback variance to allow construction of a second story addition. A motion to recommend approval passed with three members voting to approve and with two abstentions.
The other case involved representatives for the owner of 374 Clifton Rd. who presented plans for a new home in a lot that is currently zoned commercial. Committee members expressed concerns about the proposed project’s scale and noted that some of the proposed setbacks shown in preliminary plans were problematic. The committee voted unanimously to defer consideration of the case and told the applicants to seek a deferral from the City of Atlanta until new plans are developed.