After discussing traffic, aesthetics, jobs, the city’s comprehensive plan and the legality of denying the request or an obligation to do so, Brentwood officials approved by a 6-2 vote, a new Chick-fil-A at the site of the recently-closed Macaroni Grill (8590 Eager Road).
Ward 4 aldermen Tom Kramer and Patrick Toohey were the opposing votes.
Kramer said the new building wouldn’t be “aesthetically pleasing,” so doesn’t comply with Brentwood’s comprehensive plan, and doesn’t meet code. He said he didn’t like the brick exterior.
Toohey agreed, saying Brentwood Forest, which he and Kramer represent on the board, is aesthetically successful because construction has been held to a consistent standard.
Alderman Keith Robertson, a building contractor, said it’s “commonly accepted that brick buildings are better than painted…buildings. It’s not relevant to the discussion because it does meet the codes.” He said turning down the request would invite a lawsuit.
Mayor Pat Kelly said denying the request would set a bad standard. “It would tell developers Brentwood is not a welcoming community,” he said. He said plan and zoning approved the request, so the aldermen are obligated to follow the process and also approve it.
Alderwoman Maureen Saunders was concerned about telling a property owner what they can do on their property. Dierbergs owns the lot, so the request should be approved if it meets the conditions. She also wanted traffic engineer Lee Cannon’s word that traffic wouldn’t be a problem.
Alderman Andy Leahy said the last two conditional uses the board approved, without similar traffic discussions, were Arby’s and Fort Taco. He said the drive-thru and turns at Arby’s are similar to Chick-fil-A’s, and Fort Taco doesn’t have a traffic signal; Chick-fil-A has two lights.
Alderman Lee Wynn said the business will be loved by almost everybody and should be approved.
The officials also unanimously passed an ordinance to continue allowing two food truck events per year per location.
An ordinance to give city employees in a same-sex marriage or domestic partnership the same health insurance benefits as other city employees passed, with Wynn and Leahy voting against.