The developer bringing Chick-fil-A to Corinth is “very eager to move forward,” a representative of the engineering firm for the project told the City of Corinth Board of Adjustment Monday evening.

“We’re already working on construction plans,” said Bridgette Ganter, branch manager with Bowman Consulting Group of Alpharetta, Ga.

With no opposition from neighbors on record, the board of adjustment voted to recommend approval of the requested side yard setback variance from 25 feet to 1 foot at the southwest corner of Highway 72 East and South Parkway Street near Lowe’s to accommodate drive-thru canopies. The request is set to go before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for consideration in the June 1 meeting of the board.

While the variance encountered no opposition, there are concerns about the planned restaurant’s impact on traffic. Milton Sandy Jr., a member of the board of adjustment, observed that the restaurant is “building at one of the most congested intersections in the city. If you don’t get it right, you’re going to have a massive problem.”

“We have been talking to MDOT about that,” said Ganter.

The canopy drive-thru design should help with traffic, she added.

A neighboring Hinton Street resident who was present said she is concerned “about the traffic on that street. The road is so narrow.”

The developer of the restaurant is based in Massachusetts.

“Chick-fil-A is a great company to have in your community,” said Ganter. “They are very invested in the community. Their operator will live in Corinth and be a part of the community and give back to the community.”

As a pandemic precaution, the dining rooms of many Chick-fil-A locations remain closed, and Ganter said the drive-thrus have been busier than ever.

“The first three months of the pandemic were the best three months Chick-fil-A as a corporation ever had, and we had some problems,” she said. “The drive-thru was spilling over into adjacent properties. It was taking forever.”

That led to a redesigned drive-thru at all locations with additional lanes, the canopy structures and teams stationed outside at the order and pickup points.

“They can push cars through at a really rapid pace,” said Ganter.

The open-air canopies provide shelter for the teams when it is raining or the weather is otherwise unfavorable.

In other actions:

n The board tabled until its June meeting a request from West Corinth Baptist Church for a front yard setback variance from 25 feet to 5 feet to accommodate construction of a 60 feet by 100 feet activity center separate from the existing church building. The application was deemed to be incomplete.

A neighbor who was present expressed opposition to the church’s plan, saying the large metal building will reduce his property value.

n The board will recommend approval of a request from John B. Mitchell for a side yard setback variance from 26 feet to 6 feet along the Norfolk Southern Railroad at 1825 Proper Street for additional mini-storage units.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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