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August 30, 2013

Taco Bell faces one final hurdle

Approval needed from TxDOT for curb cut

Taco Bell’s Royse City building site has been cleared and the planning and zoning commission has approved the project’s plans and design, but the restaurant still has an obstacle to clear.

Restaurant officials are waiting to hear from the Texas Department of Transportation regarding their request for a curb cut that would allow their customers to enter and exit using FM 548.

The planned building site was cleared on Aug. 21 — a week earlier than originally scheduled — when the former Royse City Independent School District administration building was demolished.

During a special meeting later that morning, the planning and zoning commission approved Taco Bell’s plans and design.

Michael Stansberry, general counsel for Southern Multifoods Inc., said during the meeting that plans call for Taco Bell to have “shared access” with the yet-to-be-determined restaurant that will be located on the FM 548-Interstate 30 corner where the Wing Dingers restaurant was formerly located.

Taco Bell customers will be able to use a drive that will be built on the south side of the corner site. That drive will allow Taco Bell customers to use FM 548 for entering and exiting the property if TxDOT approves the curb cut request.

“It’s very important to us to get back to 548 and to have shared access,” Stansberry told planning and zoning commission members.

Stansberry said during an earlier meeting that Taco Bell officials planned for the building to built by the end of the year.

The officials cannot say now whether that will become reality because of the uncertainty involving the curb cut.

Taco Bell officials have voiced the importance of the 548 direct connection since news broke the restaurant was coming to Royse City.

“For us, obviously, being a fast food service, it’s all about access, means of access,” Toby Gowin, director of development for Southern Multifoods Inc., told city council members during a May 28 meeting. “Once that access went one-way, that would, obviously, limit, I think, that convenience.”

Gowin said he understood the safety concerns that were mentioned earlier during the meeting and that all two-way service roads would eventually be converted to one-way.

He added, however, that, “I guess our concern is for our customers and trying to get that access to 548.”

Mayor Jerrell Baley commented that Taco Bell traffic could “loop” back to FM 548 by turning east onto the service road, then turning onto Pullen Street that would take them past The Fellowship of First Baptist and Royse City Hardware to the farm road.

“So, it’s not going to be that inconvenient for your customers,” Baley told Gowin.

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