Home News-Free Possible zoning change for new restaurants on Airline Drive stirs questions

Possible zoning change for new restaurants on Airline Drive stirs questions

(photo by Jennyne Pinter/Press-Tribune)
Jennyne Pinter, jpinter@bossierpress.com

A plot of land near homes and apartments off Airline Drive in north Bossier is being reviewed as to whether it is suitable for new restaurants.

Randy James of Momentum Commercial Development, L.L.C., filed a zoning change request from a B-2 to a B-3 on May 13 with the Bossier City Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) for approximately 4.39 acres. 

The location is between Meadow Creek Residences and Green Acres Boulevard, across Airline Drive from the Stirling shopping center.

“We’re talking to half a dozen national restaurants,” Matthew Delaney, James’ business partner, told the MPC Board. “Ones that are not in the market at the moment. Some serve alcohol, some don’t. Some stay open until midnight. One of them is the sister company to the Olive Garden right across the street.”

The board reviewed the rezoning at its regular May 14 meeting.

The discussion centered around the specific type of restaurants that would be occupying the space and its impact on the residents nearby. 

Delaney mentioned that one would likely be an ice cream shop that would require a drive-thru while another could also need a drive-thru. He said all of the restaurants are looking to either lease or purchase their own building and turn it into a commercial center. 

“The way its planned is that right now we’re looking at four restaurants. Two of them would have alcohol, two of them wouldn’t,” Delaney said.

MPC board members expressed concern for the surrounding homes in a nearby single-family subdivision, specifically that a late-night drive-thru crowd could pose a problem for residents. 

Delaney answered by stating that while it is surrounded by homes, those homes are already across the street from a 100-acre development.

The board replied that the property is directly next to homes that are occupied. They requested to know what exactly would be locating there to determine if it suits the residences.

Delaney said he is unable to announce the restaurants without the rezoning and that he is seeking the rezoning prior to announcing the restaurants in order to secure their lease. Delaney told board members that the businesses would have to individually appear in front of the MPC for approval, regardless.

The surveying of the land is to take place over the next week and will yield all of the design possibilities. He said he would be turning in both a preliminary and secondary plan in the near future.  

The MPC told Delaney have Momentum Commercial Properties, L.L.C. to produce a Public Unit Development (PUD) proposal for the public hearing. The PUD will illustrate such things as waste disposal management, buildings set up, traffic flow, parking lot layout, structures size, and signage and lighting.

“I expect to see some opposition at next month’s meeting,” an MPC board member added.  “And having a good plan will give us the opportunity to look at what you’re doing and make a good assessment on what we’re looking at and a decision we feel comfortable with. We just want to make sure it’s smart and that we’re protecting those homes that have been there forever.” 

Delaney answered, “All (Momentum Commercial Development, L.L.C. has) done is redevelop and we’ve done it in the middle of apartment complexes, in the middle of neighborhoods. We specialize in designing signs and lighting so that it’s directional.”

The public hearing for the rezoning will be held June 11 in the City Council Chambers at the Bossier City Municipal Complex.

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