The Lakeway Zoning and Planning Commission voted 4-2 March 5 to recommend a special use permit for Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers restaurant and drive-thru at the northwest corner of S. RR 620 and Medical Parkway on the Lakeway Medical Village site.
Deputy City Manager Chessie Zimmerman said the medical project's developer received numerous requests from other restaurants. She said Raising Cane's was recommended because its management was willing to comply with all of the city's criteria for commercial use.
The proposed Lakeway Raising Cane's restaurant will not be open for breakfast and therefore, won't impact early morning school traffic, said Robert Montgomery, Raising Cane's director of property development. The restaurant, located next to Lake Travis High School, will open at 10 a.m. and have two peak times, serving lunchtime and late afternoon crowds, he said. Traffic out of its driveway will be limited to a right-turn only onto RR 620, he said.
"We want to be a part of the community," said Montgomery, who is anticipating a fall opening.
Commissioners Dwight Haley and Ron Massa, voting against the permit, cited the potential for an increase in traffic on RR 620 from the new restaurant.
"Lohmans Crossing to Lake Travis High School is the worst stretch of [RR] 620 for traffic," Massa said.
He said Raising Cane's proposed project accommodates the roadway's traffic problem as best as possible, but he has concerns over the increased traffic on Flint Rock Road once the restaurant is developed.
"There are too many unknowns for us to say we're not going to have a zoo [regarding traffic jams in the area]," Haley said.
Montgomery said the Lakeway franchise owners are Austin-area residents and plan to tailor the restaurant to the city, including a possible Lake Travis High School theme. He said the Lakeway restaurant will have 56 seats for dine-in customers.
Another restaurant is slated for the western entrance to the Lakeway Medical Village, but it will not be a drive-thru, Zimmerman said.