The Chick-fil-A on U.S. 29 wants to add a second drive-thru lane.
The restaurant wants the change because cars frequently line up around the building during peak hours.
The proposal will have to go through Albemarle County’s Architectural Review Board because the fast food restaurant is on an entrance corridor.
In a report to the county, an engineering consulting firm for the project outlined reasons for the request, which would eliminate some parking spots from the lot.
“The purpose of these improvements is to keep up with the growing demand for the drive through service option, as drive through sales make up over half of the sales at this location,” the report says.
Bohler Engineering said the increased drive-thru demand has caused cars to back up, blocking parking spaces adjacent to the building. The changes would help improve traffic circulation and will separate the drive through from the on-site spaces, the report states.
According to county code, the location would need 60 parking spots based on the square footage, but the proposal only includes 52 spots.
In a letter of determination from the county regarding lowering the number of parking spaces, a county planner said the 52 spots “will adequately meet the public health, safety or welfare requirements and provide sufficient parking at Chick-fil-A.”
The engineering report stated the restaurant is proposing to add a bicycle rack near the entrance to “promote further use of the bicycle commute option, an option that employees have utilized in the past.”
Charlottesville Area Transit Route 12 also runs through the shopping center, the report notes, and Chick-fil-A would “be willing to consider incentivising these alternatives to on-site parking to employees.”
A shared parking agreement was pursued with neighbor Lowe’s, but the home improvement store has been unresponsive to requests, according to the report.
A special use permit for a Chick-fil-A was approved by Charlottesville City Council for a new restaurant at the site of the current Burger King at the Barracks Road Shopping Center, which will be demolished. There is also a Chick-fil-A inside Fashion Square Mall and another on Pantops mountain.
Both the future location in the city and the Chick-fil-A on Pantops have two drive-thru lanes.