Zoning amendment to delay construction of Bluffton Fat Patties

A second location for a popular burger joint -- the first is in the town of Port Royal -- won't likely open in Bluffton until 2015, after a zoning problem was discovered this week, the restaurant's owner said.

One of the three parcels along Bluffton Road where a new Fat Patties restaurant would have been built was discovered to have residential zoning that would not allow commercial development, town senior planner Pat Rooney said.

A zoning amendment requires public hearings before the Planning Commission and Town Council, so at least four meetings are required for approval. That will delay the start of construction until at least late October, owner Nick Borreggine said. Construction would take about six months, he said.

Borreggine purchased the third parcel to satisfy town buffer and drainage requirements, but was informed Monday about its residential zoning. At a Development Review Committee meeting Tuesday, Borreggine was told he needed a zoning change. Without it, Borreggine would have been required to put stormwater drainage underground, rather than using a less costly drainage pool, Rooney said.

Even if construction were shifted to the two properly zoned parcels, the project would not likely meet buffer requirements for the residential lots behind it, Rooney said.

Borreggine opened his Port Royal restaurant in August 2012 on Parris Island Gateway. It offers 18 types of burgers, and five types of patties: grass-fed beef, half bacon and beef, shrimp, turkey, or black bean.

The two-story building planned for Bluffton will be along Bluffton Road, near its intersection with May River Road and the Calhoun Street Promenade. The 4,700-square-foot restaurant, slightly larger than the 3,400-square-foot location in Port Royal, will include outdoor seating and a second floor that will house a "complementary business," but Borreggine would not elaborate on the business further.

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