Monday night, the Spring Hill Planning Commission approved Arnold Consulting Engineering Services, Inc’s re-submitted plan on 3.25 acres at Main Street and Wilkes Lane that includes two drive through restaurants, two medical/dental offices and two retail spaces. One of the restaurants is a Chick-fil-A.

“City staff and planning commissioners did a wonderful job of working with the developers, which is a lot more than just Chick-Fil-a,” Mayor Rick a Graham said. “The planning commission could have rubber stamped this project several months ago, but instead, held firm and the plan was modified with less density, and safety in mind over five times. This has been a big item for us, as people have pleaded for getting Chick-Fil-A to Spring Hill. This will be one less reason to drive out of our community, and reduce traffic.”

In May a similar plan was not approved by planners because it was unsafe in layout and intensity of use for members of the Spring Hill Planning Commission

However, since then “the applicant has worked very closely with [planning department] staff to resolve outstanding issues,” according to Spring Hill planning department director Jon Baughman.

The sketch plan was first put forth in September 2016 with 26,100 square feet of retail, restaurant and medical space. That had been reduced to 18,458 square feet. The developer pulled the plan from the September planning commission agenda, to resubmit in the spring.

When planners saw the plans again, however, not enough changes were made.

“To their credit they made improvements upon that plan but ultimately they were not substantial enough,” Planner and Alderman Matt Fitterer said when the landers did not approve the earlier plan in May. “The number of buildings and space and how it was situated and accessed from U.S. 31 and Wilkes Lane was overall not safe. We had concerns with the expected traffic generation of two drive-thrus, plus four other businesses off a street [Main Street] with significant through-put and safety issues on.”

The developers have since made changes, for instance instead of one large building plans now include two small buildings, which creates more space and through-ways for drivers to move through the development. According to the planning department report, the plans appear close to approval with just a few remaining items needing to be addressed.

Five remaining points were addressed before Monday’s approval: “needs to provide landscaping irrigation”; “revise rear facade design”; “provide dumpster enclosure detail”; “provide a fee in lieu of construction of sidewalk on Main Street”, (the city takes the fee and builds the sidewalks), and “provide additional information about how the site will drain.”