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Parking could decide approval for Carbon Plaza business

A developer who previously sought Mahoning Township’s approval for the installation of a new Kentucky Fried Chicken at the Carbon Plaza has pulled out, but there is still interest in marketing the area for other opportunities.

“The KFC is dead, but according to the attorney (Michael) Ozalas, they are still looking to market that, and they still want to get the township’s opinion on whether they can put a unit similar to that footprint in that area,” supervisor Bruce Steigerwalt said.

Steigerwalt said that he would prefer to have township engineer Peter Eisenbrown and zoning officer Carl Faust check out the area, especially in relation to parking, before making a final decision.

If Dack Carbon Associates would opt to market the location for a restaurant, which appears to be the most likely choice, there would be a requirement of one parking space per three seats in the establishment.

However, Faust said that even if the developer stuck with a restaurant, the parking requirements could vary greatly. As an example, he pointed out the large seating capacity of an eatery like Panera Bread versus something along the lines of a KFC or Wendy’s, which usually feature less seating.

The parking debacle is made even more complicated due to the fact that the construction of a new restaurant at the plaza would result in a loss of parking spaces for the mall overall, bringing the grand total below the previous minimum requirement.

Eisenbrown said that the board could utilize a conditional reduction on parking, which they granted for the Dollar Tree when it was built.

The board settled the issue by requesting that secretary Natalie Haggerty obtain more information from Dack Carbon regarding its intention for the property, the number of parking spaces it will require based on seating, and the square footage of the intended building.