Triple S Planning Commission: Bob Evans put on hold

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Culver’s gets approval to begin construction, more lots coming across Buck Creek Road

By Todd Martin

Culver’s Restaurant will be able to begin building soon for its new location in Simpsonville, but Bob Evans Restaurant will have to wait.

The Triple S Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the development plan for Cuvler’s, which will be constructed on the outlot at the corner of Buck Creek and Veechdale roads, adjacent to the Outlet Shoppes of Louisville.

Bob Evans restaurant, however, will have to wait until March 18 to learn its fate from the commission after late changes by restaurant officials left the Triple S staff and commission without sufficient time to review those plans. With no objections, Commission Chair George Best asked that the decision be withheld.

Regardless of those changes, there are several with doubts about the restaurant.

“It’s a great lot, [but] it just doesn’t seem to fit your needs,” Triple S Executive Director Ryan Libke said. “These lots were just created, and we’re here now already trying to get relief for major regulations put in place for this. I just don’t see how it complies with variances and waivers requested.”

Bob Evans’ representatives were asking to move moving landscaping requirements to an area that would be off their property line, reducing the area for landscaping from 8 feet to 3 feet, changing the signage setback on Buck Creek Road from 25 feet to 12 feet because of the addition of a sidewalk and adding additional square footage on three additional fascia signs.

“We have an opportunity in an area that is just starting to grow to comply with the regulations in place,” Libke said.

Kevin Young, the principal at Louisville-based Land Design and Development that represents Bob Evans, disagreed with Libke’s assessment.

“Bob Evans feels like this is a very good location, and I think it’s going to look very attractive with the changes to the landscaping,” he said. “We don’t wan to give up on this site. It’s something that we’re very excited about.”

Vernon Woods, the construction manager for Bob Evans, noted that the company is working on a small store to fit lots similar to this one.

“This is a prototype building that we’ve built less than ten of to date,” he said. “It’s important to us to try to get a layout that we can use on lots that we’re not typically used to, and we believe that this lot allows the potential and ability to fit.”

The Culver’s Restaurant was approved for variance requests for a second sign and fascia sign, because of its location with road frontage on two sides, and waivers to reduce the number of parking spots from 56 to 50 and to remove a landscaping island between the drive-thru lane and the exit lane because there is no parking on that side of the building.

More lots coming

Libke also noted that more lots would be discussed at that meeting in March.

“Six more lots will be on the agenda next month, just across the street,” he said.

The lots, all of which will be larger than the less-than-1-acre lots on the outlet mall site, are on a 9.5-acre parcel owned by Bob Walters that runs parallel to I-64 just east of Buck Creek Road. The majority of the parcel is zoned Interstate Commercial, with a small portion to the far east zoned Agriculture. The property, however, is surrounded by the 82-acre Trio Realty property that was rezoned Limited Interchange (X-1) for the now defunct Paragon outlet mall project.

Overlay districts

The commission held an unusually quiet public hearing to discuss zoning regulation text amendments that create building exterior quality design overlay districts for the city of Simpsonville and Shelby County around that same mall area, along Buck Creek Road from U.S. 60 to south of Interstate 64 at the entrance to Hunters Pointe Subdivision.

No one from the public or the commission spoke on the topic, which when passed would adopt the same requirements Simpsonville added in the overlay district for its downtown.

The commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the amendment as presented to the Simpsonville City Commission and the Shelby County Fiscal Court.

Commissioner Dudley Bottom asked if the new Culver’s building would meet the new overlay standards even though it is not required to.

“They didn’t have to be reviewed to those standards because they under the were current regulations,” Libke said. “I’m not sure of all the percentages, but it appears that the front more than meets the necessary requirements. The sides, I’m not sure about, but they’re pretty close for the most part.”

Also at the meeting, the commission:

Approved amending Tract A of the Old Booker Pike Farms to split into three tracts. This property, at the corner of Eminence Road and Booker Pike, is zoned Agriculture.

Approved a development plan for Crestview Nursing Home to add a 1.73-square-foot addition to the existing nursing home on Midland Trail. The property is zoned Commercial.

Approved a partial bond release of $37,476.65 for The Reserves at Todd Station.

Heard in a report from Libke that his office in January received 11 new single-home permits and another permit for a 4-apartment building. “That’s better than we did last year in January. and the weather was a lot better then,” he said.