James Island Board of Zoning and Appeals to discuss KFC drive-thru

Source: Live 5
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 4:37 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:49 AM EDT
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JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The James Island Board of Zoning and Appeals will meet Tuesday night to discuss bringing a fast-food chain to the area.

On the agenda, members are expected to review a request from KFC for a special exception, which will allow them to build a drive-thru in a vacant lot near the intersections of Camp and Folly Roads at 890 Folly Road.

This vacant lot sits next to the Chase Bank, Hyams Garden Center and Accent Store near the intersection of Camp and Folly Roads.

A recent initiative, “Rethink Folly Road,” aims to make the area less congested and commercial and to have more green space. It appears some locals are concerned about the level of traffic and congestion in the area already and are worried a drive-thru near this intersection could make the problem worse.

One resident, who works at the store next to the vacant lot, said he is less concerned by the traffic and more concerned by the type of business that fills the vacancy. He said he would prefer a locally owned business, rather than a chain restaurant.

“I feel that there should be a local business right there, rather than a fast-food chain, I work right there next to a locally owned business and it’s just kind of seems more appropriate for James Island,” Benjamin Pippins said.

According to the meeting agenda, this lot was once home to a Pizza Hut, Subway, Papa John’s and more. Those locations have since been demolished.

The Mayor of James Island, Mayor Woolsey, said he trusts the Board of Zoning Appeals to determine whether the drive-thru will impact traffic.

“There are over 100 businesses in the Town’s Commercial Core and less than five percent are fast-food restaurants. Consistent with the Rethink Folly Road plan, I strongly support the redevelopment of our older strip malls that do not meet current standards,” Mayor Woolsey said in an email.

KFC said in a statement that the James Island Community historically features a variety of food options, including a KFC that operated until 2011.

“We are excited around plans to open a KFC location in the James Island community. Our commitment is to positively impact every community in which we operate by creating job opportunities and participating in community programs and events. The restaurant we are proposing would be uniquely designed for James Island. We are continuing to work with the local community during the review process,” a KFC Spokesperson said in their statement.

The meeting is Tuesday at 7 p.m. and will be available virtually. For more information about the meeting, click here.

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