Texas Roadhouse Gets Thumbs Up From Athens Planning Commission

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Plans to open a Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Athens moved a step closer this week, following unanimous approval from the Athens Planning Commission Thursday in what the city calls a Title 41 review.

In this review, Athens Code Director John Paszke outlined comments from various municipal entities, including the Engineering and Public Works Department and fire department.

Most concerns of Texas Roundhouse's proposed site plans were minimal and dealt with water and sewer, traffic flow, lighting and parking, all of which are adequately planned for, Paszke told the commission.

Next, the restaurant must submit to the city a use permit application.

If fully approved, the restaurant hopes to begin construction on its proposed spot at The Market on State on East State Street.

An issue with Texas Roadhouse's plans continues to be its placement and business hours in relation to the Athens Farmers Market.

The location of the restaurant in the parking lot of The Market on State could cut into a portion of where the Athens Farmers Market operates each weekend.

Planning commission member Paula Horan Moseley said in an August meeting that the restaurant's Saturday hours would conflict with the market, the Messenger previously reported.

"For the heart and soul of those in Athens and Athens County … will the farmers market be relocated on your property?" Moseley asked Brent Hayes, co-owner of The Market on State, at Thursday's meeting.

Hayes, who previously told The Messenger there have been talks to move the farmers market further down the parking lot toward the Athena Grande movie theater, responded that The Market on State has no lease with the farmers market.

He said he hopes to try to work with the farmers market for a solution.