The empty lots at the corner of Madison Street and Lyman Avenue could be home to a new Taco Bell fast-food restaurant before the end of 2017.

Bell American Group LLC, through its developer/builder Hamilton Designs, has requested a special-use permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals and will makes its case to the board on May 17 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Oak Park Village Hall, 123 Madison St.

Debera Johns, director of operations for Bell American, could not immediately be reached for comment.

A legal notice for the hearing notes that the restaurant would take up the empty lots from 500 to 508 S. Lyman Ave.

In addition to the drive-thru special-use permit, Bell American is seeking allowances that would permit the parking lot of the restaurant to be located to the west of the structure, rather than to the south as specified by the village’s Madison Street zoning district plan. Bell American also is seeking relief on setback codes, which would allow the restaurant to take up more of the lot.

In Hamilton Designs’ special-use permit application, the company argues that the Taco Bell “would result in the improvement of a dormant lot with a quick-serve restaurant facility with a drive-through component.”

“The quick-serve restaurant market has seen a significant shift in customers who prefer to utilize a drive-through window rather than dining at the restaurant,” the application states. “Approval of this petition would be desirable to the customer, would provide a service which is in the interest of the public convenience and will contribute to the general welfare of the neighborhood and community.”

The application also notes that the restaurant “will improve the existing lot from a dormant, underutilized property to substantially improved lot.”

“As a result, the value of the subject property is anticipated to substantially improve adjacent property values similarly,” the application states.

Hamilton Designs noted that it does not anticipate adverse traffic impacts as a result of the drive-through.

The developer aims to have the project complete before the end of 2017, according to the application.


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