Residents in the area of Hardee’s came out in force Tuesday night to oppose the rezoning of its back parking lot from Residential-1 to Commercial-1.
Hardee’s is looking to address longstanding traffic issue by demolishing its existing building and replacing it with one that’s better configured to accommodate more vehicles in its parking lot. However, in order to do that, the back parking lot would have to be rezoned from residential to commercial.
The change would remove a three-decade agreement with the city that the property cannot be used as a drive-thru between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 p.m.
John Douglass says his house on West Main Street is 12 to 15 feet from the parking lot and he needs the time restriction to remain in place and be enforced.
Douglass says he been attempting to preserve his house for 30 years and rezoning the property would be a detriment toward that endeavor.
“With a C-1 zone, as I understand it, they could, if they desire, stay open 24 hours a day,” said Douglass. “They would also be backing their building up 15 feet more toward my house. That would be even more of a noise problem with two lanes coming the opposite way around the building. The outbuildings would also be closer too. I foresee more traffic problems with this plan than we presently have.”
Douglass requested a 20-foot stone wall between his property and Hardee’s, such as those placed between interstates and residential areas, or for the city board to reject the rezoning request.
Wayne Rigsby says a 6-foot wall probably won’t alleviate the majority of the issues he has with Hardee’s but he’s requesting one anyway.
“My concerns are noise, lights and trash, which I have blown over on me every Monday morning when they come in with leaf blowers,” said Rigsby. “My bedroom windows are on the second story of my house. I can tell you every time they have an order. I hear every word the lady says. A 6-foot wall, I don’t believe will help me. It will help with trash. I’ve never had a wall on my side and I don’t know if they are going to put a wall on my side, but I sure wish they would. This is a great plan. I hope it relieves traffic, but I think I need some consideration on my side, as far as alleviating the trash blown into my yard every Monday, the noise, and the lights that blind me every night.”
Rigsby also voiced concerns for construction and the noise associated with it.
Carolyn Lance opposed rezoning.
“If the parking lot is rezoned, we will all be bombarded with night noise,” she said. “When a business freely chooses to locate its business in a residential area with homes around it, they have an obligation to give consideration to their residential neighbors. These are neighbors who have and should continue to have a peaceful night’s rest.”
Joe Wooden says he OK with the existing Hardee’s and he’s opposed to rezoning.
“Personally, I can’t see any reason to do this new plan and rezone it because in all the 40 years that I’ve lived there I haven’t had any really bad problem with what they have their now,” said Wooden.
Dennis Jeter was the only audience member to voice approval for Hardee’s.
“I’ve lived directly behind Hardee’s for 41 years,” said Jeter. “I couldn’t possibly image being a better neighbor than what Hardee’s has been. They keep it clean. They keep it updated. They keep their buildings painted. They keep it nice. Their dumpster is 30-feet from my backdoor. I have no problems with mice. I have no problems with bugs, odor, or trash. They are great neighbors.”
Board members unanimously rejected Hardee’s request for rezoning when the measure came up for consideration.