Proposal for drive-thru Jimmy John's in downtown KC on hold

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A proposed drive-thru sandwich shop in downtown Kansas City is on hold again. Supporters believe this sends a message to small business owners to stay away from downtown.

After being split last week -- the zoning committee today agreed to postpone the proposal for a drive-thru Jimmy John's restaurant downtown.

A temporary moratorium was placed on building drive-thrus in downtown after the franchise owners already began the planning process approved by the city.

"You never expect a moratorium to be proposed or an ordinance to change the zoning on the site you purchased for a specific reason," Mark Abbott said, a co-owner of Jimmy John's Kansas City franchise.

The owner went before the committee Wednesday to make his case for the group to vote down the moratorium. Instead, the committee voted to put the issue on hold.
Abbott already purchased the property at 9th and Broadway.

"It seems like it's a never-ending battle and what we are trying to do is create job opportunities here in Kansas City," he said.
He believes the committee's decision sends a strong message to any small business looking to make downtown home.

"Be afraid. What can you do moving forward? You're never sure if what you're told you're going to be able to do is actually what you're going to be able to do," he said.

Critics of the downtown drive-thru proposal argue it would cause traffic headaches at the location. Abbott disagrees and stands behind the plan.

"We've spent a lot of money to get to this point," Abbott said. "Having plans prepared based on what the city has told us and now while waiting for the permit they're saying we may not want you to do this."
It could be the beginning of the year before the issue is back before the planning committee.    

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