The Taco Bell that had planned to open this fall on the corner of Livernois and Walton in Rochester Hills has been put on hold.
"As luck would have it they discovered bad soils when they did their testing," said Ed Anzek, director of planning and economic development for the city.
The soils in question are basically marl, which are peat and boggy-type soils that aren't suitable for typical construction, Anzek said.
"These soils are fine for a parking lot but not the loads of a structure," he said.
So the owners are redesigning the strutural elements of the building, which set them back two to three months.
"They have advised us they will use the late fall and wintertime to redesign and then process building permits with the city," Anzek said.
Rochester Hills City Council approved a Conditional Land Use permit in May for the restaurant to build a drive-thru in the empty lot that's less than a five-minute walk from Rochester High School, near Panera Bread.
The approval followed 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 was to have a one-way parking lot and a sidewalk that would allow pedestrians to walk from Taco Bell to the nearby Kroger or other shops.
In a Rochester Patch poll in May, 217 readers said Rochester Hills needed another Taco Bell.