Council OKs restaurant site plan _lowres

Advocate staff photo by STACY GILL -- Zachary Mayor David Amrhein and City Councilmen meet Dec. 9 for the last meeting of 2014. Amrhein and members recognized eight-year Councilman John Coghlan of District 3 and 13-year Councilman Dan Wallis of District 4. Coghlan lost the Nov. 4 election to Laura O'Brien and Wallis is retiring. Ben Cavin won Wallis's seat over Sharon McKnight. Wallis is seated and standing, from left, are Francis Nezianya, Amrhein, Tommy Womack, Coghlan and Brandon Noel.

The Zachary City Council at its Dec. 9 meeting agreed with planning and zoning’s recommendation to approve the site plan review for Zaxby’s restaurant.

If all goes according to schedule, the restaurant should begin construction in March and take about four months to complete, according to Charlie Colvin, associate broker at Beaux Box.

The 3,850-square-foot eatery will be located on Main Street across from Wal-Mart, Colvin said.

Zaxby’s menu features chicken fingers and wings, sandwiches, salads, appetizers, sides, desserts and beverages.

The council also approved a site plan allowing MedComp Sciences to add square footage to its existing McHost Road location. However, since the current building is more than 5,000 square feet and located in a flood zone, the company cannot bring in any outside dirt, Mayor David Amrhein said.

MedComp’s Randy Herring said the business is “doing extremely well with 200 employees.”

In other council business, Bill Johnson, code enforcement officer, reported on the status of abandoned and junk vehicles within Zachary’s city limits.

Johnson said so far in 2014, a total of 120 citations have been written, 60 cars have been removed, 65 are pending, 35 vehicles have been cleared or towed and 20 have been removed from private property.

“As fast as I clear them out, they bring them back in,” Johnson said about the Avenues area of Zachary.

The ordinance, which came into effect in 2012 after Amrhein took office, states: “junk and/or abandoned cars stored on private property or discarded in public place are a source of potential harm to children and others who may find them to be an attractive nuisance; they create safety and health hazards; and constitute a blight on the city’s landscape destroying the aesthetic qualities of the city and hurting the welfare of the city as a whole.”

Amrhein said there were about 1,000 abandoned cars throughout the community.

Johnson said he averages clearing about 20 cars a week, but is “making a dent in the problem.” At the beginning of 2015, Johnson said, he will be sending letters to owners of the vehicles giving them a chance to have them towed or made movable again.

Prior to adjournment, the council recognized 13-year Councilman Dan Wallis and eight-year Councilman John Coghlan.

Wallis has retired from the District 4 seat and will be succeeded by Ben Cavin, of Landmark Bank, who defeated Sharon McKnight in the Nov. 4 election. Coghlan lost re-election to the District 3 seat to Laura O’Brien, owner of Fitness Design for Women.

“You were in public service for the right reasons. I believe everything you did was for the betterment of this city, and I don’t think anyone will ever serve this council again for 13 years. We will miss you,” Amrhein said.

Coghlan said serving the council has been a privilege and an honor.

The next Zachary City Council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 13.