2017-09-14 / Front Page

KFC, Dort Federal plan to open in Swartz Creek

BY LANIA ROCHA
810-452-2652 * lrocha@mihomepaper.com

SWARTZ CREEK – It looks like Swartz Creek area residents who’ve been hoping Kentucky Fried Chicken would come to town may get their finger lickin’ wish.

A 2,156-square-foot restaurant with drive-through is proposed for the northwest corner of Miller and Elms roads.

Developers say they will have a site plan prepared for the city’s planning commission to review at the Tuesday, Oct. 3, meeting.

The property, so far, has been difficult to develop. The site is small, covering just more than a half-acre, and geometrically challenging.

Previous attempts to build there have crumbled under the weight of concerns for public safety, given the traffic volume and speed, the proximity to the intersection and the angle of Miller Road.

“The big item is traffic,” said City Manager Adam Zettel.

Planning commissioners have said they want right-turn only exits to Miller Road, so drivers aren’t attempting to hang left turns so close to the busy intersection.

Engineer Dustin Burton, speaking on behalf of property owners HPC, LLC of Durand, said the proposal includes “right in and right out” driveways, and utilizes the service drive to the west.

Developers also will commission a traffic impact study to identify potential risks to driver safety, Burton said.

Despite the site-related hurdles, Burton said the property is situated on a “prime corner.”

Commissioner Robert Florine called the KFC proposal “the best plan we’ve seen” for the site.

“We’re very lucky to find something to fit that site,” added Commissioner Kathy Ridley.

The property is located general business zoning, which allows for restaurants, but the city will have to grant a special land use permit for the drive-through.

In addition, city officials will consider waiving requirements regarding the number of parking spaces and room for drivethrough traffic.

“I think if we can feather out the potential problems, this will be a benefit to the community,” said Commissioner Jentery Farmer.

While developers tweak the KFC plan, the folks over at Dort Federal Credit Union are getting ready to break ground on a 3,042-square-foot building on 1.55 acres just north of the Meijer gas station.

The credit union will have two drivethrough teller lanes, and a drive-through 24-hour ATM lane.

Architect Abbegail Sivwright said developers expect a December groundbreaking and summer 2018 grand opening.

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