City planners are recommending denial of a variance request for a Jack in the Box restaurant proposed for Meridian Street just south of 16th Street. In a staff report, planners expressed concerns about the proximity of the restaurant's sign to a neighboring sign for CVS, its lack of adequate landscaping along Meridian Street, and a proposed drive-through along the building's east façade. Urban design guidelines prohibit new drive-throughs along Meridian or Pennsylvania streets in the downtown vicinity. The noise and lights from cars and the drive-through speaker would adversely affect residential properties nearby, the report notes. But several businesses in the immediate vicinity, including CVS, Walgreens, McDonald's, Chase and White Castle, already operate drive-throughs, a point that won't be lost on attorneys representing the restaurant chain. The plans are scheduled for a Board of Zoning Appeals hearing Nov. 15. Jack in the Box, which also owns the Qdoba Mexican Grill concept, decided to revive its plans for the restaurant at Meridian and 16th streets earlier this year as part of its plan to open at least 10 central Indiana locations. The proposed design shown above is a departure from the San Diego-based chain's standard-format restaurants. Thoughts?
UPDATE: The Board of Zoning Appeals denied the request by Jack in the Box in a 4-1 vote.