Crestview residents have responded to the City Council’s inaction following a fast food restaurant developer’s request for tax relief.
The result among our readers is clear: Crestview wants Krystal back.
Our second most talked about report last week — on the restaurant’s construction being “in jeopardy” — drew often-harsh criticisms directed at anyone threatening the project’s progress.
However, the topic of who put the project on pause is debatable.
City leaders on April 8 unanimously approved locating the restaurant on State Road 85 across from Dunkin’ Donuts.
Developers then said a 1,700-square-foot eatery — to open before August — would employ some 30 workers on the 1-acre site. Long-term plans included a 3,000-square-foot retail building across the parking lot.
Nevertheless, developers a month later expressed concern about a Florida Department of Transportation mandate that requires the restaurant’s owners to pay for turn lanes to the eatery.
Such infrastructure improvements would exceed the restaurant’s budget by $30,000, a Z Development Services spokesperson said before requesting tax relief.
That’s where the debate comes in.
Some people believe a fast food titan — reportedly worth $175 million, as of its 2012 sale to Atlanta investors — should be able to foot the bill; others say the city should OK the incentive because additional tax revenue eventually would boost city coffers.
That leaves the project in limbo — actually, “in jeopardy,” as developers said.
Remember: John and Joan Crestview didn’t put their savings into the lifelong dream of owning a restaurant franchise. Rather, The Krystal Co. wanted to bring a company-owned restaurant to Crestview and tapped Z Development Services for the job.
City Councilman Shannon Hayes has a point: Krystal probably could afford the extra $30,000.
Then again, cities anticipating additional tax revenue frequently offer businesses incentives.
Let’s hope this stalemate reaches a conclusion — soon — because a vocal majority of residents want more fast-food options.
However, more important is that Crestview could use 30 new jobs.
Email Crestview News Bulletin Editor Thomas Boni, email@example.com, or tweet him @cnbeditor.