BAR approves new look for Blythewood’s KFC

BLYTHEWOOD – The Blythewood Architectural Review Board granted the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise on Blythewood Road a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) Monday evening for their proposed changes to the existing building. Irwing Gama of Lendlease, the Chicago Agency that represents franchise owner Tim Wilson, presented the company’s original plans at the April 17 meeting, but was told to come back with a clearer idea.

“Maybe, first of all, this board is committed to nothing right?” Board Member John Miles said during last month’s meeting. “Maybe these presentations could involve the presenter’s research of the standards and a clear idea what they want to do versus a smorgasbord of stuff, which is very confusing to me, I don’t know about the rest of you.”

Since the first meeting, Gama has been working closely with the town’s architectural consultant Ralph Walden and Planning Consultant Michael Criss to come up with a solution that suits the board’s needs and requests.

“He (Gama) was very cooperative and I think they have done almost everything the board has asked or suggested,” Walden said. “Michael and I had no problems with just getting the details solidified.”

KFC was requesting signage with 23 square feet of surface instead of the 20 square feet of surface allowed.

The signage presented Monday consisted of the KFC lettering on the front and west facades of the building. Also included in the signage is stenciling that reads Real Meals To Go above the drive through, and World Famous Chicken near the front-door.

“There is more wall signage then would otherwise be allowed but they are actually arguably reducing the visual impact of the wall signage that’s there now” Criss said. “They have drastically reduced the amount of proposed painting of the brick. You could argue that the stenciling of the signage on the East and West facades is a form of a paint on brick but it’s certainly not obscuring the aesthetic character of the building material.”

A pyramidal shroud that bore the logo of KFC and Pizza Hut was replaced in the new proposal in favor of something more flat that will be in the front corner of the building. Lendlease removed slanted awnings that were presented at the last meeting, and replaced them with shutters.

Outdoor lighting fixtures will, according to the new plans, be shielded to prevent the glare from being a distraction to motorists and pedestrians traveling on Blythewood Road.

“Mr. Gama submitted that light to Michael and me to look at so there is a shielded light fixture and the board needs to state that they want the shielded light fixture,” Walden said. “It basically narrows the beam, it doesn’t splay out. It better meets our desire to have the light itself not visible.”

The motion to grant the COA passed unanimously.

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