(Hershey) -- A new proposal could place a fast food Mexican restaurant in the main stretch of downtown Hershey.
But residents and business owners are opposing the plan, which they say would take away from the area's historic feel.
The Derry Township Zoning Hearing Board has held a hearing on the proposal, which calls for building a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant on the corner of Ridge and West Chocolate Avenues.
Phil Guarno is the owner of two long-established Hershey eateries: Fenicci's of Hershey, an Italian restaurant, and Phillip Arthur's Traditional Ice Cream Parlor. He says part of Hershey's charm is being able to visit businesses that have been around for many years. "I see grandparents tell their [grand]kids, 'Oh, this used to be a restaurant I came to with your grandmother on our first date.' I don't feel like driving my [grand]children down Chocolate Avenue when I'm a grandparent and saying, 'Oh, where the Chipotle was was a restaurant.'"
Guarno says he'd support building a Chipotle restaurant in another part of Hershey, where more fast food establishments are located.
The land is owned by the Hershey Trust and isn't zoned for a fast food restaurant, but the developer says Chipotle shouldn't be considered a typical fast-food facility.
The zoning board will take up the discussion in another hearing next month.
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