Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen might soon be serving fried chicken to Cave Creek residents.
The Cave Creek Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval for the site plan and rezoning request to the town council during the November 19 meeting. There were no public comments issued.
Popeyes is a New Orleans-founded fast-food establishment that serves fried chicken and seafood as well as Cajun fries, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese and other dishes.
On December 21, the Cave Creek Town Council will vote on whether or not to approve the site plan and rezoning request, which were submitted concurrently by the applicant, Tempe-based SBL Engineering LLC on behalf of HZ Props RE Ltd., a Texas limited partnership, which operates as a restaurant.
If approved, the approximately 2,300-square-foot, one-story fast-food restaurant will be located south of the southeast corner of North Cave Creek and East Olesen roads, next to Burger King and across the street from Dutch Bros Coffee.
The rezoning request seeks to change approximately 1 acre of land from a desert rural classification to general commercial. The proposed site plan includes a drive-thru, 20 parking spaces and a new entry and exit way for cars at the southern-most edge of the property.
The aesthetics of the potential building will feature a new unique design, one of the first Popeyes restaurants to feature this new aesthetic, according to Jennifer Smith, a civil engineer with SBL Engineering who was present at the meeting.
Each rezoning request requires two readings and approvals from the town council, and the second reading will likely happen in January, according to Planning Director Luke Kautzman.
As required by state law, the applicant conducted a neighborhood meeting on October 16 to present the plans to those within a half-mile radius of the property, also sending letters to each of the nearby residents and businesses.
A total of seven neighbors attended the meeting, where they expressed concerns about grease trap odors, sound intrusions from people ordering food through the drive-thru, and the brightness on the lighting of the building. Some also were concerned about a new driveway being added to Cave Creek Road.
These concerns were also brought up during the planning commission meeting, where the applicant assured that the potential sound and light intrusion would be minimal and that grease traps are cleaned regularly.
After the votes were cast, recommending approval to the council, the planning commission issued its welcome to the new potential Cave Creek business operators.
A Popeyes representative who was present through Zoom stated that if approved, construction will start in June of next year with an opening date of October 15.