Joplin City Council tables further action on zoning requests for proposed Chili Bar & Grill due to traffic concerns

Joplin City Council tables further action on zoning requests for proposed Chili Bar & Grill due to traffic concerns
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Some Joplin residents express concern regarding the new proposed Chili’s Bar & Grill being built northwest of the intersection of 15th Street and Range Line Road.

The Joplin City Council has tabled further action on zoning requests for the project, due to a high number of questions raised in tonight’s council meeting.

Residents near the area say the proposed restaurant, currently with three outlined entry and exit ways on Range Line Road, 14th and 15th streets, will have a significant impact.

“A lot of residents on this block are concerned about their kids and the increased traffic,” said Michael Pier, area resident. “Chili’s sells alcohol, and with them coming through here, and also using our street as a commercial parking lot. I know we don’t have the right to say where they park or not, but this is not zoned for a commercial driveway or parking lot.”

Pier says ultimately, he would like to see the entire entryway along Range Line Road into the neighborhood blocked off.

After several residents addressed the council with that same concern, the project developer, who declined an interview at this time, agreed to consider and pay for the expense of closing the Range Line entry onto 14th Street.

However, should that occur, additional decisions must follow, such as how to close off access to that neighborhood in accordance with fire department safety requirements, and whether the closure could change the existing plans for the restaurant entry and exit locations.

“I think the council did the right thing in tabling this to give the owner of the property just a little bit more time to go back to the potential client and see if they’re okay with this process,” said Mike Seibert, mayor. “If they are, we’ve probably got a project the council could then vote on here in a couple weeks.”

There is some concern that the complications and delay in action on zoning requests could result in Chili’s Bar & Grill backing out of the project.

However, council members remain hopeful a more detailed and amended site plan will be presented and approved at the next meeting.