The developer of a proposed shopping strip on busy White Sulphur Road and Jesse Jewell Parkway got the green light Tuesday from the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board for a Fazoli’s Italian restaurant.
However, Keel Property Management could not get the board to also allow a second business to join the development — a car wash — which was not included in the initial plans presented to Gainesville city officials.
A representative for Wayne Keel, who was not present at the meeting, made the case for allowing the car wash into the commercial mix.
Ed Myers, president of Myers & Co., the civil engineers who will install sewer and water at the undeveloped and heavily wooded 6-acre site, said the new General Business zoning classification the board approved for the project allows for a car wash.
“That’s why we didn’t ask for it to begin with,” Myers said, while speaking on behalf of Keel for the 3,500 square-foot Fazoli’s restaurant.
No one at the meeting stepped up to oppose the developer’s proposal, which included annexing the property into Gainesville city limits, and rezoning the site from Agricultural Residential-III and Highway Business to General Business.
Planners approved the proposal with five conditions, which included prohibited commercial uses. Among the long list of prohibited uses is having a car wash operation there.
Community Development Director Rusty Ligon said staff is not envisioning a car wash operation on the prime, gateway location.
Planning Manager Matt Tate said that while it’s true that General Business zoning allows a car wash, he said the officials could restrict such use because it’s a zoning change for that area.
Other conditions tacked on are providing a traffic study to determine whether existing turning lanes will accommodate future traffic generated by the development, and requiring the developer to get city and state approval for all access points at the commercial site, which must be paid fully by the developer.
Myers said Keel will argue its case again when Gainesville City Council makes a final decision on the proposal Aug. 1. He said Keel has a contract pending on the property that would be executed after the zoning issues are finalized.
Asked whether keeping the car wash out of the development would be a deal breaker for Keel, Myers said that would be up to the developer.
“He’s the one with the money,” Myers said.