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JANESVILLE

Chicken sandwiches are the stars of the menu at the newest chain restaurant planned for the Humes Road-Milton Avenue corridor.

Blain’s Farm & Fleet owner Jane Blain Gilbertson has made a zoning request on the part of a developer for a new 5,000-square-foot Chick-fil-A restaurant on the corner of Farm & Fleet’s Humes Road lot, according to a city planning memo.

City Planning Director Duane Cherek said in the memo that the plan commission will hold a public hearing for the proposed Chick-fil-A on Nov. 16.

The restaurant would be located in the southeast corner of the Farm & Fleet lot at the intersection of Humes Road and North Pontiac Drive, according to the memo.

That part of the lot might be known to residents as the area where Christmas tree vendors have set up shop in past years.

In a voicemail to The Gazette on Friday, Cherek said the city is not directly involved in negotiations between the developer and Farm & Fleet, and he said he wouldn’t speculate on the timeline of the project. But Cherek said he believes work on the Chick-fil-A might break ground after the Farm & Fleet and Chick-fil-A work through a land entitlement process.

That’s a process that can take a few months or up to a year, depending on the complexity of a development.

Under the plan, Chick-fil-A would develop the restaurant with a two-lane drive-thru and indoor and outdoor seating. Under the city’s current zoning of the 1.6-acre parcel, the plan commission must OK a conditional-use permit.

The College Park, Georgia, restaurant chain is best known for its battle for spicy chicken sandwich supremacy against its main competitor, Popeyes, which has a Janesville location.

If it moves forward, the Chick-fil-A development would come at a time when the state Department of Transportation is capping off a five-year expansion of Interstate 90/39. In 2021, the DOT plans to rebuild a stretch of Humes Road between the Interstate and Milton Avenue.

The DOT said it plans this fall to finish Ryan Road, a spur that connects Pontiac Drive and a network of roads off Humes Road to retail-heavy Deerfield Drive via a tunnel under I-90/39.

The Ryan Road spur would make the Farm & Fleet lot at Pontiac Drive and Humes Road a new hot corner for retail traffic.

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