Washington City Council Chambers

Plans are moving forward for a proposed Chinese fast-food restaurant in Washington.

The Washington Planning and Zoning Commission Monday recommended the city council approve a request to resubdivide the property where JCPenney is located, creating a new lot on the northwest corner of the property. The property is owned by JCPenney.

Under the proposal, Lot A will consist of the existing JCPenney store and parking lot and Lot B will be a new lot in the northwestern corner of the plat where Panda Express would be located. Each lot meets the required subdivision requirements of the C-2 zone, according to Sal Maniaci, community and economic development director.

Maniaci noted a building permit has been approved for Panda Express at that location. Issuance of the permit is on hold until the plat is approved.

Since both lots already have road frontage and water access, the only public infrastructure that is required to be extended is the sewer line.

A performance guarantee has been submitted to the city and will be attached to the final plat ordinance to ensure the infrastructure is put in to place, Maniaci stated.

Panda Express would be located at 1112 Washington Square. The estimated construction cost is over $1.2 million. The restaurant would be located east of McDonald’s on a similar sized lot.

Maniaci added a parking lot for the new restaurant would be located between the building and Highway 100, also a similar setup to McDonald’s.

Planning board member John Borgmann asked if there would be enough parking for JCPenney after selling off a portion of its parking lot.

“Now JCPenney is wildly over parked,” Maniaci responded. “It is not occupying part of that building.”

He added if JCPenney requested a permit to occupy the remainder of the building where it is now located, it would have to be cleared though the city showing it meets parking codes.

The city council is expected to review the planning board recommendation next week.