Community Members Express Concerns Over Proposed Location For New Chick-fil-A


The fast-food restaurant that generates more revenue per store than any other chain is eyeing a new location in Arnold. Preliminary plans have been submitted for a 2,656-square-foot drive-thru only Chick-fil-A to be constructed along Route 2 just south of the intersection with Arnold Road, past the CVS and Sunoco gas station. If approved, the one-story store would serve guests through two drive-thru lanes at 1500 Ritchie Highway.

Since Truett Cathy opened the first Chick-fil-A in an Atlanta, Georgia, shopping mall in 1967, where the original chicken sandwich sold for 59 cents, Chick-fil-A has opened over 3,000 locations across 48 states, Washington, D.C., Canada and Puerto Rico, with its sights set on international growth in 2025. Almost 90 of those locations serve customers across Maryland, with a dozen operating in Anne Arundel County.

“While we are still early in the process, Chick-fil-A is happy to share that we are currently pursuing a new location in Arnold,” the company said in a provided statement. “We are working closely with Anne Arundel County to approve plans, and we look forward to expanding our presence in the Broadneck Peninsula and continuing to serve our customers great food with remarkable service.”

Though the chicken chain is wildly popular among consumers, not everyone in Arnold is ready to welcome the restaurant with open arms. Area residents were notified in February of an informational community meeting by Bohler, a company working with Chick-fil-A that provides land development consulting and site design services, according to its website.

In March, roughly 100 community members turned out for the meeting – a county-required prerequisite to the development plan approval process – to express their concerns about traffic issues, environmental impacts and other implications of the proposed location for the Chick-fil-A.

Among them were Arnold Preservation Council past president and board member Elizabeth Rosborg. She, along with the council, shares many of the community’s concerns.

“Arnold Preservation Council is very supportive of Chick-fil-As in general, just not at this location,” Rosborg said. “We feel like they’re shoehorning it in. There will be a significant disturbance to steep slopes, they are asking for a modification to tear down specimen trees, there’s a significant amount of grading that would need to be done, and we just feel like there are other opportunities for them to build that are better suited.”

Renderings of the proposed site indicate that the Chick-fil-A would be accessible from Route 2 South and a driveway behind the CVS that connects to Arnold Road. Because of how busy other area Chick-fil-As, including those in Severna Park and Parole, get during peak hours, some residents are concerned about traffic stacking on Route 2 during lunch and dinner times. Rosborg explained this could present a potential safety issue for southbound traffic because the idling vehicles could be less visible due to a hill.

She also shared the council’s concern for the potential impacts of increased traffic on pedestrian safety at the Route 2/Arnold Road intersection. A pedestrian crossing Route 2 southbound against the traffic signal was struck and killed there in 2022. Increased traffic on Arnold Road accessing the driveway to Chick-fil-A behind the CVS could also impact residents of communities that are located behind the proposed restaurant including Arnold Manor, Pines on the Severn, and Winchester on the Severn, Rosborg noted.

Following the March community meeting, development plans will be submitted to the Anne Arundel County Department of Planning and Zoning. For some residents, questions remain about traffic flow in and out of the Chick-fil-A property, forest conservation, stormwater management and other issues – concerns that would likely be addressed with Anne Arundel County agencies as plans progress.

The proposed Chick-fil-A is still in the preliminary planning process, though it has been a topic of discussion for several years. Similar concerns regarding traffic and the environment were expressed during a community meeting in 2021. Since then, letters between Bohler and Planning and Zoning indicate the county has granted Chick-fil-A three extensions on preliminary plan submission. The county will continue to work with Chick-fil-A and its developers to reach a decision. It is too early to estimate an opening date for the restaurant.

Site renderings and additional documentation about ongoing discussion of the proposed Chick-fil-A can be found at To learn more about Chick-fil-A, go to


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