Sonic, America's Drive-In Coming to Timonium?

There is a proposal on the table to bring the fast food restaurant to York Road, although a zoning hurdle must first be cleared.

There is a proposal on the table to bring Sonic, America's Drive-In, to York Road in Lutherville-Timonium. 

Community leaders are planning to meet with the franchisee to address concerns over possible traffic issues. Community association representatives pointed to the popularity of the fast food chain's Rosedale location on Pulaski Highway. 

UPDATED (by popular demand)—The address of the property is 2027 York Road, in Lutherville-Timonium.

"The last thing York Road needs is a line of three or four cars waiting to get in,” Eric Rockel, president of the Greater Timonium Community Council, said. 

Sonic locations are famous for reinvigorating the classic American drive-in design. Some locations, however, do feature indoor seating. 

The drive-in burger and hot dog restaurant has been proposed for the currently vacant land parcel at York and Belfast roads. The property has sat vacant for about four or years, Rockel said. The former tenant, some will remember, was a Roy Rogers franchise. 

Plans have been drawn up for the site structure, however a zoning request to approve parking on what it technically considered residential property must be cleared.

In the meantime, before community leaders meet with the possible new York Road tenant, how do you feel about a Sonic Drive-In in Timonium? Start the conversation in the comments section below. 

Melanie Hitch February 20, 2013 at 05:21 AM
I looked at all property surrounding the location within 500 ft and there was no mention of your name owning property. So you must be more than 1 block from York rd on either Belfast or Northwood so the traffic would not affect you as bad
Amy February 20, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Charles- I took your challenge and looked you up. Your home is more like 1000 feet from the site, on a different street, and several houses off of York Road. So now it makes more sense to me why your idea of "reasonable compromise" is to place a concrete sound barrier around someone else's property. It appears that your neighborhood has survived through years of encroachment of commercial development, but the lack of empathy for your neighbors may ultimately be it's downfall. Standing united as a neighborhood is always best. Stand up to bullies like Wilbur Jones who threaten to make things even worse for your neighborhood. I don't live in your neighborhood nor do I know Melanie Hitch (whatever her or his name may actually be). I was simply enticed by the headline to read this article because my family loves Sonic. It wasn't until after I started reading the comments that I realized the negative impact that the restaurant could have on someone else, and I felt the need to say something. I was shocked by the attitude toward the immediate neighbors and you should be too. You may not think so, but it sounds like "Ms.Hitch" understands that the lot will ultimately be used for a commercial establishment- even fast food. But I think it's reasonable for her to not want a Sonic, as it is VERY different from any other fast food.
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Ah, "Under somebody else account", Sounds like you are a renter and you really shouldn't invite strangers into your house. that could be more dangerous than a Sonic next door
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Amy, it is reasonable for "Ms. Hitch" to not want a sonic. but it is also reasonable to expect to suffer traffic, trash and road noise when you live in a house right next to York Rd. Nobody is saying that she can't fight it if she wants, just most find it ridiculous that she is fighting to stop much needed revitalization for a property that has been vacant for YEARS. She chose to live in a house that sits next to commercial property, a vacant fast food restaurant no less, so common sense should have told her that another fast food joint could replace it.Then again maybe she doesn't have any "Common" sense, which could explain everything.
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 03:54 PM
I just took a glance at google's streetview on Belfast rd... If you go to the first houses on that street and spin around it's quite the view...You have dumpsters, the rear of a shopping center, a trailer park and a vacant fast food restaurant, oh yeah and the traffic on York rd. In my opinion, a Sonic would be the best thing that could happen here
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 03:59 PM
James, the problem with your statement is that it doesn't matter what is "Better suited" for this property... it has been vacant for years so obviously those insurance agencies, boutiques, and salons aren't fighting over the chance to operate there. But I guess in your opinion, a vacant fast food restaurant is better than a brand new successful one
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Perhaps, but maybe not EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US would be foolish enough to buy a house next to York and expect peace and quiet. I intentionally purchased a house in the middle of a suburban residential community, 2 miles from the closest commercial property. therefore I have a reasonable expectation that a Sonic will not pop up next to my home
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Actually, he IS slightly more than 300 ft, maybe 350...so he wasn't lying
Voice of Reason February 20, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Now let's do a little math together shall we??? Mr. Norris's address is located 0.2 miles from the proposed Sonic lot. When we convert 0.2 miles in to feet it comes out to 1056ft. Just a tad over the 300ft mentioned before. Oh yeah and there are multiple homes and two streets between the two points. I can understand Ms Hitch's issue with having a Sonic at that location. I would not want to live next to one with the amount of attention that one brings to a given area. Also I see that Mr Sonic took the pleasure of looking around and commenting on the great views that the last house on Belfast rd has. Well is it possible that the house was not bought for the views but possibly for the neighborhood for which it lies in?? Many people would love to have the opportunity to live in that neighborhood given its history and school district. Also it seems like her issue is not the development of the lot but what is being placed in the lot. People really need to chill on the whole issue though.
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 05:52 PM
Ah yes, math... and if Mr. Norris said that it is a 300ft walk to the proposed sonic, well then he would be wrong and you, Mr Reason, would be right and your superior intelligence (and math) would be evident. However that is not what Mr Norris said. He said he LIVES 300ft from this place. Now if you, Mr Reason, would use logic, and measure the distance "as the crow flies" ie, the shortest distance between 2 points, you would find that the distance is in the 300ft range, Just as he said, and not the 1000+ ft that your "Math" told you. PS. the noise pollution created by traffic and commercial properties DOES in fact travel "As the crow flies" and does not travel along the roadways and sidewalks as your measurements would suggest
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Furthermore, Mr. Reason, I do not pretend to know or understand one's reason for purchasing a home in that neigborhood, that close to York Rd. However my observation was simply that a brand new Sonic on that corner would be a great aesthetic improvement over an abandoned vacant lot, dumpsters and a trailer park. But hey that's just my opinion. That all being said, If you really are the "Voice of Reason" than you would understand that purchasing a house that close to commercially developed York rd, one should expect traffic, noise and trash. Some previous comments seemed to suggest that those such things would only occur if Sonic moves in.
Amy February 20, 2013 at 07:05 PM
What's your deal "this is how you sonic"? You seem to be a troll that is hell bent on arguing everything. Do you work for Sonic? If so, then you are not doing a very good job of endearing yourself to the community. If you don't, then you probably shouldn't be using their slogan. We all get that your life will not be complete without a Sonic on that corner. Is there anything else that you'd like everyone to know, or would you just like to continue to insult everyone who lives in that neighborhood?
Ann Marie February 20, 2013 at 07:12 PM
I thought that was a Boston Market... Not a Roy Rogers.
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 08:54 PM
Yes Amy, I am a troll, hell bent on arguing any falsehoods. No, I do not work for Sonic. And I have probably only eaten at a Sonic once or twice. My original motivation to post was "Melanie Hitch's" Racist comments pertaining to "Light rail people" possibly working in her neighborhood...because as she said, "where do these people live? HMMMMMM Dont be blind" those were her racist words and as a person who does use the Light Rail, I took offense to them... Amy, it's funny how you suggest that I am insulting anyone, yet you make no effort to call out such an overt, OBVIOUSLY racist insult...shame on you
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 08:55 PM
If I'm not mistaken, It was a Roy Rogers first, then it was a Boston Market later
bob roll February 20, 2013 at 09:12 PM
get a life. fight it or don,t waste of time argueing. you are probably same one,s bitching about the skateboarders on facebook comm. page. how bout we worry bout crime around us
Amy February 20, 2013 at 09:15 PM
Ann Marie- It was a Roy Rogers for many years before it became Boston Market. The commercial structure was built 40 years after most of the original houses on York Road and 20 years after the surrounding residential neighborhood was built. If that neighborhood is anything like mine, which was built 10 years later, there are probably still some original owners or their families living there.
Melanie Hitch February 20, 2013 at 09:37 PM
This is how you Sonic: You call me a racist, you have no idea my color or who I am based on a comment I posted towards a comment that made me angry. I also used the light rail on many occasions.
Amy February 20, 2013 at 10:02 PM
"This is how you Sonic"- The original light rail comment never mentioned race. It was you and Bart who made that assumption. In fact, I had to go back to figure out what you were talking about at the time. I did not interpret it the same way you did. And "Ms. Hitch" later tried to clarify what she meant by her comment. "Ms. Hitch" was not the only one to bring up the increased crime rate that the light rail has brought to the area, yet you didn't berate anyone else. I found your comments equally, if not more rude than anything that was said about the light rail. Here are just a few of your thoughts... "you are already dealing with traffic, trash & noise. so what is the real problem? kinda comes with the territory of living that close to that stretch of York Rd." "not EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US would be foolish enough to buy a house next to York and expect peace and quiet" "but it is also reasonable to expect to suffer traffic, trash and road noise when you live in a house right next to York Rd." "purchasing a house that close to commercially developed York rd, one should expect traffic, noise and trash." I don't think ANY ONE, regardless of where they live, should have to put up with more, and more, and more commercial encroachment. Did it not occur to you that some of the neighbors may have lived there before ANY commercial development moved in? Your comments have just been so hurtful to so many people- not just "Ms. Hitch".
Melanie Hitch February 20, 2013 at 10:21 PM
I moved here understanding the noise from York Road and I understand there will eventually be a company that buys this vacant lot. The property is half commercial and half residential. I just don't want sonic changing the 3 residential lots to commercial. Since this allows the company to back up to my house, allowing no barrier on the noise. Plus I share PT lot 16 with the owner of this lot, this is why the lot is label residential.
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 11:00 PM
I'm sorry Amy, could you explain to me how those comments of mine are "Rude" and/or "Insulting". You may not want to hear them, but they are the current reality. When you purchase a home within ear shot of York Rd. it is reasonable to expect to hear sounds of Commerce and Traffic. It is also reality that roadside trash may exist. It does occur to me that some in the neighborhood may have lived there prior to commercial development, but I doubt there are many. And for those folks, I do feel bad. And before you and "Apple a day" cry foul and claim that her post was a misunderstanding. Go back and re-read, also check the time-stamps. Her first post referring to the light rail was in response to someone suggesting that a Sonic would brings new jobs, at 6:17am on Sat, Apple posted "Jobs for the Light Rail" that was several hours before she posted the response to crimes rates that you suggest I am misunderstanding, in that post she said " Who works are these fast food chains people that ride the light rail, where do these people live? HMMMMMM Dont be blind" Now you may not interpret that as racist, but I do...maybe YOU can clear that up for us. Who are these light rail people? Where do they live? and why is it not acceptable for them to work in timonium? Please clear that up for us all, because apparently I'M blind
Amy February 20, 2013 at 11:19 PM
I didn't make the comment and I'm not going to defend it. What was rude about your comments is your assumption that since these neighbors are already dealing with so much traffic, noise, and trash, what's a little more? That's so easy for someone who doesn't live there to think. I think home ownership is the most important element of any strong community and it should be fought for and protected no matter where someone lives. Not everyone can afford to buy a home in the perfect location like you did. I say kudos to those to buy in less desirable places and try to keep them nice. I've stated my feelings repeatedly and it's okay if you don't agree with me, but I beg of you to please at least try to put yourself in someone else's "shoes" and stop being so hard on the people who are actually affected by the situation. Thank you.
This is how you Sonic February 20, 2013 at 11:34 PM
ok, so how are those comments "Rude"? In fact having a Sonic move in would alleviate some of those problems. you see if "Ms Hitch" and the community were to reach out to Sonic, they may find them willing to build a nice privacy fence around the back and side of the property to reduce all the noise and create a barrier between the commercial and residential zones. So they would have less noise, more privacy and they would be free of the eyesore of a vacant abandoned property. As for the community I sort of agree with you, except that I do not promote Home Ownership as you do, I think in many cases it is foolish. I find it interesting that you assume that I live in some "Perfect location" and that you assume it cost more than a house in Timonium. Amy, your assumptions are wrong. according to the real property assessment page I would not be able to afford a house on Belfast Rd.
Amy February 20, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Poor you- living around all that silence and cleanliness in your "house in the middle of a suburban residential community, 2 miles from the closest commercial property". I already stated how your comments were rude. I'm certain that you won't want to hear it if I try to tell you again. You can't control how others react to your comments. I'm simply trying to help others the way I would want to be helped if I were in the same situation. I don't have the energy to keep going back-and-forth with you. We'll have to just agree to disagree. Good night all!
This is how you Sonic February 21, 2013 at 12:20 AM
I never asked for your pity. did it ever occur to you that said house may be a rowhome, in a neighborhood, though void of commercial property is not affluent like Lutherville-Timonium. Looking at the assessed values of homes in the area of the proposed Sonic, most values are in the $250,000 range, about $100,000 more than homes in my neighborhood. There is plenty not to like about my neighborhood... it is neither silent or clean by my own standards. But it is not close to commercial zone, that was the point of the comment you quoted. If you choose to live so close to commercial, you do so knowing the possible consequences You really do assume too much.
bob roll February 21, 2013 at 07:07 PM
affluent you don.t know this hood at all i,am hard working just gettin bye like everyone else. MOST of us in this AFFLUENT neighorhood just take pride in thier homes
Hilda February 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM
I grew up on Belfast Road so I am very familiar with that lot. I don't think it could support a Sonic, really. Nothing against Sonic or any another food joint, I just think Sonic would be better in a different location.
Hilda February 26, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Yes, it was a Roy Rogers for a long time before it was Boston Market. In fact, when I was very young, it was a general store with a gas station.
Austin March 03, 2013 at 03:32 AM
I live on Belfast, have watched the empty lot for over a decade, and dreamed of the day SOMETHING would move in that wasn't a Bank, or the ever so popular Cash 4 Gold places that are popping up all over. Lets be real, York road is and always will be York road (noisy, busy, etc...) The resident in question has always been vocal, and I am sure got a sweetheart deal when buying a house that is 350 feet from York road and faces temporary trailers across the road and the dumpster for Maria's.
Kristen Hoover March 16, 2013 at 03:07 AM
I think Sonic would be a decent addition to Timonium, I just think that this location is not ideal. I don't think it is a biggest enough lot to handle the size of the establishment. Also, most days, this part of York road is already at capacity. It would cause a lot of traffic problems in a already/always being worked on road. I would love to see something done with this space; a little ma and pa shop or something that was locally owned by someone who was interested in the community. I'm sure that because this place has sat vacant for this long, there is something complicated with the zoning. At the end of the day, more businesses mean more jobs and that is good for everyone.


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