A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Chick-fil-A proposed near freeway

Written June 8th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

On May 17 I took this shot of the site of the proposed Chick-fil-A restaurant, which would replace the vacant Original Breakfast.

Plans to build a Chick-fil-A restaurant near the Santiam Highway/Interstate 5 interchange in Albany have been perking along since last summer. One complication is that a zone change is needed so the restaurant’s employees have a place to park.

The chicken restaurant, proposed to have space for 98 sit-down diners and a dual drive-through lane, would be at 3225 Santiam Hwy. S.E.

That’s the address of the former Original Breakfast, which closed in January 2020 and would be demolished.

The new restaurant would be the first Albany outlet of the Atlanta-based chicken chain.

The restaurant lot is already commercially zoned, but Chick-fil-A would like to put about a dozen employee parking spaces on a triangular piece of ground between the restaurant and Airport Road. That little lot is zoned single-family residential, and a zone change is needed.

On May 10 representatives of the city and the developers had a “pre-application” meeting about the zone change. As of May 17, when I last inquired, no application for the change had been filed.

Questions about traffic may become an issue.

Two nearby businesses have already objected that restaurant traffic would hamper them.

ODOT has raised concerns about more traffic entering Santiam so close to the I-5 interchange. The agency recommended that the city require a traffic impact study as part of the zone change.

If and when a zone change request is filed, it will be up to the planning commission and city council to act on the application.

How long any of this will take, if it takes place at all, well, we’ll just have to wait and see. (hh)

34 responses to “Chick-fil-A proposed near freeway”

  1. Anony Mouse says:

    In light of the council’s non-partisan political endorsement of the Pride Flag, I think a franchise featuring Bud Light that will be open on Sundays is a much better use of this private property.

    Don’t allow hate chicken to come to Albany.

    The council should exercise it’s unbiased power and give Chick-fil-A the bird.

    • Lisa Hanslovan says:

      I totally agree with you.
      No hate chicken in Albany!!

      • lynda k chambers says:

        It’s chicken, just because they don’t agree with your views doesn’t mean the rest of us wouldn’t love to be able to have them as neighbors. Stop being so hateful!

      • Bill Kapaun says:

        How about no hypocrisy?

      • Anony Mouse says:

        Lisa’s comment tells me that if someone can’t tell if your comment is parody . . . it’s not.

        I apologize. I’ll try to make future attempts at parody more obvious.

  2. Hartman says:

    According to this article in VOX News, published 6/9/23, even Chik-Fil-A has become “too woke” for many on the Radical Right.

    to wit:

    “DEI, short for diversity, equity, and inclusion, is the latest three-letter term to become a target of the right.

    “That focus burst into view this week as conservatives went after Chick-fil-A, a fast food restaurant they’ve often supported in the past given its Christian roots and its prior donations to anti-LGBTQ groups. Despite Republicans’ longtime backing, the chain’s decision to employ a vice president of DEI has prompted backlash from some who now slam the company for being too “woke” for considering policies that help support people of color and other underrepresented groups in the workplace”

    It seems that Chik-fil-A, formerly a hate-fueling pseudo-restaurant, has now seen the light and has decided they’d rather sell chicken sandwiches to any and ALL customers rather than focus on the shriveled and shrinking bigoted Right. Seems a smart move on Chik-fil-A’s part.

    The only question remaining is: Is Chik-fil-A’s turnaround on the issue too much for the Right Wing of Albany to stomach? Will the hate-spewing Right attempt to shutter Chik-fil-A or will someone with common sense explain to the Reactionary Right that just because Chil-Fil-A supports the rights of ALL persons does not make Chik-Fil-A some sort of “Woke” organization. I look forward to seeing what the more Regressive members of the Council have to say, particularly those Councilors who are in direct competition with Chik-Fil-A for hard-earned restaurant dollars.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      “It seems that Chik-fil-A, formerly a hate-fueling pseudo-restaurant….”

      So you base your hateful diatribe on an obviously bigoted article? Thanks for more clearly showing what you are.

      • Hartman says:

        Remember that the words inside the quotation marks are lifted directly from the VOX piece, in case you might actually be interested in what the Right is saying. The rest of the comments outside of quotations are my thoughts. You condemned the VOX article, obviously without having read it, so I will take your criticism with several grains of salt.

  3. Joe says:

    Awful location just due to the access and drive up. This will be plugged all the time!

    I’m all for CFA but this is way too close to the lights.

    • Barb Bolden says:

      How big of a problem was traffic before the other restaurant closed?
      Shouldn’t be any different now. Good or bad.

      • Joe says:

        It wasn’t much of a problem when it was a place folks pulled in, parked and sat down to eat. (No drive up)
        The drive up will be the challenge.
        Think 10x the traffic and people wanting to turn left as the exit to get back on the freeway.
        Just not good for a high traffic business that close to the lights.

        • Abe Cee says:

          Put in a right turn exit onto Airport Rd and then people can use the light there to get to the freeway on-ramps.

  4. Hartman says:

    If it comes to a vote of the Council being necessary in order to propel the Chik-Fil-A opening forward, It will be interesting to see if any City Councilor who happens to also be in the restaurant business will recuse herself from the vote, her conflict of interest being quite apparent? Just asking questions.

  5. Hazel says:

    It would be wonderful if they could find a way to exit onto the frontage road.

    • Al Nyman says:

      Absolutely the way to go. Right turn on frontage road and right turn on Santian to exit.
      Great comment.

  6. CHEZZ says:

    Chick-fil-A is a viable restaurant for this space near the freeway. I always enjoyed the former Denny’s building, but it is time for a nice upgrade by having a nice restaurant establishing a home there. And, yumm!

  7. Taylor Halstead says:

    Location Location Location ! I know this is a great location for them, but I am really concerned with traffic in this spot.

  8. Debbie Moffat says:

    Not sure why traffic issues as has previously been a restaurant .

  9. Abe Cee says:

    Problem solved….no left turns into or out of the restaurant.

  10. Frank Brittain says:

    We actually need more Mexican restaurants than another chicken place. I sadly have to state that I’m joking of course, for the those that are less humorous than I am. I’d vote allowing Chick Fula build and then all those who don’t feel their politics are inline with theirs can just refuse to eat there. Kind of like the old days in a free market type of system.

  11. KrytonicBlade says:

    Didn’t someone say or article they were coming to corvallis where the old McGrath’s used to be on circle blvd??

  12. Anony Mouse says:

    I kinda like Rich Kellum’s suggestion in March that the Chick-fil-A should locate on the “corner of Santiam and Goldfish Farm Rd., Just so Hartman has to pass it every time he leaves his house.”

    The city needs to install traffic cameras to register Hartman’s face every time he is forced to drive by Walmart and Chick-fil-A every time he leaves his suburban McMansion.

    It’s a situation where virtue is rewarded and misdeeds are punished…i.e….poetic justice.

  13. MarK says:

    I thought awhile back there was talk about adding a Popeyes in the Albany Plaza parking lot?

  14. Jeff Born-N-Albany says:

    Chicken is good food, but this location simply will not work.

    Making a left turn from this area is about impossible on a good day, but add the congestion that would be brought by this wonderful restaurant it would be bad. Very dangerous!

    Turning right is not bad, but the small easement road in front of the two gas stations is already plugged with traffic and would cause a ton of traffic issues for both.

    Would love to see the Great Chicken come to Albany, but this spot is just too congested.

  15. CAZ says:

    It’s amazing how everything has become political even a business wanting to sell cooked chicken and offer jobs to the local community.

  16. JC says:

    Look at all these authoritarians trying to dictate what businesses may or may not open. It’s pretty simple, if you don’t like it, do not go. If enough people don’t like it, the business will close down. We all know that will never happen as everyone except the most disgusting radical leftists will patronize Chick Fil A. It will be the most popular fast food restaurant in Albany.

    You do not get to operate state authority with prejudice. All citizens and businesses are offered equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the 14th amendment. Why leftists think they get to abuse the rights afforded to people they don’t like is a sad development.


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