Growing Pains in South Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/29/04

Growing Pains in South Lubbock

South Lubbock has plenty of undeveloped land making it a prime location for businesses to open and developers to build new neighborhoods.

For instance, Lubbock's 11th Sonic Drive-in was scheduled to open on Frankford Avenue. But 95% of the residents who live on 64th street don't want it there. "Concerns are the increase in traffic we'll have here. We have lots of children in the neighborhood. We're very concerned for our children's safety," said long time resident, Cheryl Anderson.

Anderson says the entrance to their street would be directly in front of the Sonic. Residents fear more vehicles will drive on their residential street. Because of that, residents started a petition Monday and presented it to the council at Tuesday's meeting. Now, the case of Sonic Drive-In will have to be re-visited by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

However, Chris Wilson, a Sonic Representative doesn't believe the restaurant will create more traffic for the neighbors. "I don't know if Sonic would be able to generate traffic anymore than what's already here," said Wilson.

According to the city, 23,000 cars are driven up and down these roads a day. But Sonic doesn't believe they will create traffic, but pull from what's already there.

Growing pains are not just happening around 64th, but for residents who live on South York Avenue. They are just beginning their fight to keep a bar and grill from opening right behind Letrice Haggard's house. She says none of her neighbors want it there.

Haggard says she knew the land was zoned for commercial use. "We thought it was going to be businesses closing at five. It was the last thing in our mind it was going to be a bar and grill," says Haggard.

"We all have young children and we're trying to raise them. We don't want this around them," said Ashley Ball, another York Avenue resident.

Whether the concern for both of these neighborhoods are safety, to them, it boils down to property values. "We don't want that drive-in there because we don't want our homes reduced $15,000 a house," said 64th Street resident J.B. Hance.

Sonic says they talked to residents a year ago, and a majority of the people were not opposed to the restaurant moving in. The Sonic case will be heard before the zoning board in August.

The case of South York Avenue, residents there are trying to schedule a meeting with the City Council to see what can be done about the bar and grill.

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