By Alyssa Schnugg
Oxford’s future Waffle House jumped its final hurdle Monday to build in Oxford Commons when the Oxford Planning Commission approved the site plan for the highly-anticipated restaurant.
Since the site plan for the Waffle House is less than 5,000-square-feet, it would have ordinarily been approved by city planning staff and not by the Commission.
However, in March, the Commission approved two variances for the property that were appealed to the Oxford Board of Aldermen by several Oxford Commons residents. In May, the Board of Aldermen upheld the Commission’s decision. They then determined that due to the public’s interest, the consideration of the site plan for the Waffle House should be done in a public hearing before the Commission, which was held Monday.
No one from the public spoke at the meeting.
In 2019, Waffle House executives announced the restaurant would be built on a lot along Ed Perry Boulevard, north of Commonwealth Boulevard and north of the Malco Oxford Commons, but then changed the site to the northeast corner of the roundabout at Sisk Avenue and Ed Perry Boulevard, adjacent to Highway 7 on the west side.
Some Oxford Commons residents have issued complaints with planning staff, saying the new site was not an appropriate location and would lead to future traffic issues.
The driveway is located over 150 feet from the roundabout, which planning staff stated is more than adequate space for cars to queue outside of the roundabout.
According to the site plan, the building will have a brick facade on all four sides, and the property owner will build a crosswalk on the northeast corner of the property that will span to Ed Perry Boulevard and connect with the sidewalk adjacent to Tru Hotel.
While the city’s planning staff did not feel that traffic associated with the Waffle House will have any negative impact on the safe operation of the roundabout at Sisk Avenue, it did consider citizens’ comments and future developments in the area. As a result, staff included a condition that a left turn lane or other solution as approved by engineering will be constructed at the expense of Waffle House if city staff determine there is a conflict with traffic associated with entering or exiting the Waffle House site.
Developers have previously stated that construction could start later this year with an opening in late 2022 or early 2023.