Fast-food chicken restaurant Raising Cane’s might not get its drive-thru request quite yet. On Thursday night, the Columbia City Planning and Zoning Commission recommended a denial to City Council for the request for a conditional use permit that would have allowed a drive-thru in a 5-2 motion.
Robert Hollis, an attorney representing Raising Cane’s, argued that a drive-thru is commercial use and would therefore comply with the zoning codes. The proposed plot of land is located south of the Lucky’s parking lot and southwest of Providence Road and Locust Street.
Downtown zoning codes require conditional use permits for drive-thrus. The main objections from the commission included vehicle traffic in the area and a lack of data concerning the driving congestion if there were to be a drive-thru. The city staff report presented to the commission recommended the conditional use permit be denied.
Debbie Stosz, civil engineer for Raising Cane’s, said that a contractor was still in the process of conducting a traffic study but that it had not yet been completed.
“I just wish I had more information,” commissioner Tootie Burns said. “There’s a lot of pedestrian traffic going up and down Lucky’s, which is right next to that area.”
The proposed plan for construction includes pedestrian facilities like bike racks and outdoor seating.
“My comment here is that you need to know the pulse of this city,” Anthony Stanton said. “We’re hippies here in Columbia. We like to walk. Especially being located near downtown, we need to look at the whole picture.”
Commissioner Valerie Carroll was in agreement, adding that for any business looking at Columbia in the future, there should be consideration of all the city’s planning reports.
The commission reached a 5-2 decision, with Commissioners Stanton and Russell voting in favor. Commissioners Brian Toohey and Rusty Strodtman were not present for the vote.
The Columbia City Council will likely hold a public hearing on the plan at the Jan. 6 meeting.