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Fast Food Destined For Quail Corners, Despite Neighbors' Protests

Residents of Charlotte's Quail Hollow neighborhood have lost their fight to keep a fast-food drive-through out of the Quail Corners shopping center. The city council's vote last night ended a decades-long dispute. Hundreds of residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the intersection of Park and Sharon Road West signed a petition urging the city council to resist last night's decision. But in the end, Maria Smithson of the Park-Quail Neighborhood Coalition says other interests won out. "It was very clear that the council members listened only to the developers in the end and did not vote their consciences and did not vote for the needs of the community or the wants of the community," says Smithson. Quail Corners is owned by Crosland, which is a powerful developer in Charlotte. Its top executives and affiliated organizations contributed at least $30,000 to city officials in the last election. Only Democrats, Councilman Jason Burgess and Mayor Anthony Foxx, voted against Crosland's zoning request, which will allow a fast-food restaurant at Quail Corners. Council members who voted for the change say it will improve the mall's property values and attract other businesses. Neighbors worry a drive-through will bring extra traffic and lure Quail Hollow Middle School students to dart across six lanes on Park Road for a quick burger. Crosland promised residents there would be no fast-food restaurant at Quail Corners when it was built in the late '70s. Now the developer says it needs the revenue to cover a much-needed face lift for the shopping center.