August 14, 2017
It's no longer a rumor - a Waffle House will soon open in the city of Bellevue.
That's the word coming from Scott Enns, Bellevue's zoning administrator. He spoke to the city council recently in assurance the community will see a Waffle House on Donnermeyer Drive. He said the restaurant is set to be located in the area a car wash is currently in operation. Enns said the car wash would be torn down.
The Bellevue Board of Adjustment permitted Waffle House the variance is needed based on the square footage it was requesting at the location - to ensure it conformed to the city's code. Enns said the same thing occurred with Arby's, recalling what happened with that process before a plan was developed to ensure it abided by the city's code.
This was the same issue, and several other reasons, that kept Kroger from opening a fuel center in the location that Waffle House is looking at.
It also means Waffle House will have to ask Kroger permission to use the land. The company will also need to include an easement so drivers can get to the restaurant using the food giant's parking lot.
Enns said Waffle House and other similar restaurants have permits that use the zone. Kroger's fuel center idea (as well as other stations) needed various variances to be approved. It was the city board that denied Kroger's request.
Bellevue has been working with Waffle House for about three months to make the location happened. A lot of work has been done to ensure the restaurant happens.
In order for people to access the site, Waffle House offered a proposal that would bring them through the grocer's parking lot.
Enns said talks have begun and it doesn't foresee Kroger having any hard feelings about not being able to place a fuel center in the parking lot. He said it boiled down to conditional use - Waffle House has it; Kroger didn't.
The city is helping Waffle House with the request. However, if it's denied, then Enns said the restaurant would need to have a 24-ft. wide access point on Donnermeyer and this development is not form-based friendly.
Enns said in 90 days, the city will look at the site plan. Should they be unable to use the Kroger parking lot of access, access will need to be found. However, he said, they want to exhaust all opportunities to ensure they can enter the market.