County planners give thumbs-up to new Wendy’s at the Beacon Center

Drawing of new Wendy's
A design for the planned Wendy’s as seen in the Department of Planning and Zoning’s staff report on the project.

A new Wendy’s on Richmond Highway is one step closer to happening.

County planners have recommended approval of a plan to build the restaurant on a pad site between Famous Dave’s and TGI Fridays at the Beacon Center. The 2,640 square foot restaurant will have 55 indoor seats and 12 outdoor seats, as well as a drive-through.

Drawing showing where the Wendy's will be built at the center

Last fall Wendy’s parent company applied for a special exception to build the new restaurant, which replaces a Wendy’s at the corner of Route 1 and Fairview Drive that closed in 2017. The plan needed approval because the area is in a “highway corridor district,” which requires special permission to build a restaurant with a drive-through.

Once opened, the restaurant would operate from 10 a.m. to midnight from Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

While officials recommended approval, they are still working through some details with Wendy’s — including a requirement that the restaurant attain green building certification.

“Staff concludes that should [Wendy’s] address the issue noted above … the application is in harmony with the Comprehensive Plan and conforms to the applicable provisions of the Zoning Ordinance,” the county’s staff report read.

Wendy’s is also required to make landscaping improvements and new pedestrian crosswalks around the restaurant as part of the approval, according to the staff report. The county and Wendy’s also agreed on a $15,000 contribution that would go toward future improvements to the highway area in front of the Wendy’s — such as bike lanes and a six-foot separated sidewalk.

The Wendy’s plan now heads to the Fairfax County Planning Commission for a March 20 hearing, and then goes for final approval before the Board of Supervisors on April 9.

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  1. Will Radle