Bills Schoonmaker (cap) and John Robinson (bowtie) show Candler Park residents proposed site plans before the start of the Oct. 2 meeting.
About 20 people attended a CPNO zoning committee meeting Oct. 2 to discuss proposed changes to parking at the popular Fox Bros. Barbecue restaurant. The restaurant is located at 1238 DeKalb Ave. and it recently bought adjoining lots at 1210, 1216, and 1220 DeKalb Ave. to accommodate customer and employee parking that currently spills over into nearby residential streets.
Fox Bros. vice president Bill Schoonmaker and attorney John Robinson made a brief presentation. They distributed copies of site plans showing several alternatives for parking and landscaping in the lots where two vacant single-family homes currently are located. Fox Bros. proposes demolishing the homes to build a surface parking lot. The project would require a zoning change.
It took Fox Bros. more than a year to acquire the property. Parking has long been a concern and the business has discussed it with CPNO previously. Residents who live on Elmira Place and Josephine street who attended the Oct. 2 meeting would like relief from overflow parking but they expressed concerns about the potential impacts new onsite parking might create.
Among the concerns voiced were increased traffic to the business because of the new parking supply; aesthetic concerns; impacts to trees; expansion of the existing restaurant footprint; impacts to nearby property values; and, light pollution.
Recommendations to mitigate potential impacts introduced by additional parking included valet parking and other offsite solutions for customer and employee cars. Schoonmaker noted that the business is looking for sites to expand its catering and in-store dining business. Their efforts to expand into Decatur last year collapsed after a tree damaged their existing restaurant and forcing them to invest in repairs to the existing facilities.
At the end of the 90-minute meeting, Schoonmaker promised to take into consideration the concerns and suggestions he received before meeting again with CPNO and residents. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 6.