The Zoning Board of Appeal on Wednesday approved plans by Citizens Bank to convert a long-closed Kentucky Fried Chicken across from the B-3 police station on Blue Hill Avenue into a branch that will feature a drive-up ATM and a night-deposit door - right next to an existing check-cashing place.
Citizens's plans call for keeping the main former KFC building but refitting it to serve as a bank. The exterior will remain basically the same, but with green Citizens piping and logos instead of the current blank walls.
The sole issue is where drivers entering on Blue Hill Avenue to the bank's 11-space parking lot and ATM lot will exit. The bank's plans called for an exit lane on Blue Hill Avenue, but the BPDA suggested that drivers instead exit onto Frontenac Street, a one-way street leading away from Blue Hill Avenue. The zoning board's approval calls for BTD to determine the best way to have drivers exit.
Board Chairman Mark Erlich praised the plans to replace the derelict chicken place with a bank.
"Given that a number of banks, including, unfortunately, my own, are eliminating branches in minority neighbors, it's very nice to see that Citizens is moving in the opposite direction," he said. Erlich did not name his bank.
Nobody spoke against the proposal, although a nearby resident did say she wanted BTD to take a look at the bank's proposed exit lane.
The bank will be open 9 to 4 on weekdays and 9 to noon on Saturday. The parking lot and ATM will be monitored 24 hours to ensure they don't become hangouts, a bank security official said.