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Opponents to proposed Burger King address City Council

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Eight people spoke Tuesday against approving a special-use permit for a Burger King as part of the Cowan Crossing development being built in Fredericksburg.

The opponents live in the Westwood subdivision, which sits behind the 8-acre development that is zoned commercial transitional and office.

Fredericksburg City Council took no action on the permit but is expected to act at its next meeting on Dec. 10.

The development is being built on U.S. 1 at the intersection with Cowan Boulevard. At the council’s last meeting, it unanimously approved a special-use permit for a CVS Pharmacy in that development after discussing concerns about a 24-hour drive-through at that store.

The development would also have a bank.

Eleven people spoke during a public hearing Tuesday on the proposal to build a Burger King at the site.

The restaurant would sit on 1 acre within the development, be about 3,000 square feet, have 76–80 seats for customers and have a single drive-through lane.

City Police Chief David Nye and his wife, Christina, expressed support for the fast-food restaurant, with both saying they were won over by efforts of Jervis Hairston and Chris Hornung of the Silver Cos., which is developing the project.

Chief Nye said he was surprised at his viewpoint but said his concerns had been addressed. He also read a letter from a neighbor who supported it as well.

One resident, Steven Hoover of Keeneland Road, asked only that the permit include a requirement that a maintenance log be kept on the facility’s equipment.

The key issues brought forth by residents of the Westwood neighborhood were concerns about pollution from particulates emanating from the equipment used for cooking as well as odor.

Hornung said the restaurant would be required to use a catalytic converter which reduces odor and pollution and is common in California.

Councilmen Fred Howe and Brad Ellis noted the difference in the odor emanating from a nearby Burger King after it was upgraded to use a catalytic converter.

Residents were also concerned about the restaurant increasing the number of drivers who cut through that neighborhood to reach the restaurant.

“The amount of traffic and food really gives you the perfect opportunity for ozone,” said Westwood Drive resident Mark Poth, who holds a doctorate in environmental science.

One resident suggested a better solution would be to place a sit-down restaurant in that location.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972

pgould@freelancestar.com

 

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