Taco Bell will build a second Rochester Hills location, near the Mobil gas station on the corner of Walton Boulevard and Livernois Road.
Rochester Hills City Council approved a Conditional Land Use permit on Monday night for the restaurant to build a drive-thru in the empty lot that's less than a five-minute walk from , near .
The approval follows two months of review by city planning commissioners, who had expressed concerns about traffic flow and pedestrian accesibility to and near the site.
Taco Bell representatives addressed those concerns: the restaurant will now have a one-way parking lot and a sidewalk will allow pedestrians to walk from Taco Bell to the nearby Kroger or other shops.
Taco Bell will be accessible through the existing driveways in the shopping center; there will not be access into the Taco Bell parking lot directly from Walton Boulevard.
Bill Beckett, a representative of the restaurant, said he has been asked why Taco Bell is going into that spot rather than another, bigger spot on that corner: the site of the former Big Boy that was razed last year.
"Taco Bell has been looking in this area for the past several years, and they did look at the Big Boy site but it was not made available to them at the time," Beckett said. "This particular site has been a year in the works. It fits the needs. It's a wonderful location for Taco Bell."
According to a report accompanying the site plan, the restaurant will be built starting this summer with an opening planned for late fall.