A Dairy Queen is one step closer to becoming a reality at a shopping center that is a stone’s throw away from Fort Daniel Elementary School.

The Gwinnett County Planning Commission voted Tuesday to recommend approval of the restaurant on an outparcel at the Veranda at Fort Daniel shopping center on the 1800 block of Auburn Road. That location would put it about a quarter of a mile away from entrance to the Fort Daniel Elementary School campus.

Peoples Bank and Trust owns the property and is working with Burel LLC on the Dairy Queen proposal.

“This center has struggled from Day One,” Burel LLC attorney Mitch Peevy told the Planning Commission. “It is still bank-owned, this property is bank-owned. They think that having a drive-thru restaurant, one (that) serves ice cream, can draw additional customers in and maybe help the entire center.”

Although the Dairy Queen is being proposed for an existing shopping center, a change in conditions for the proposed 1.02-acre site is being sought so the restaurant can have a drive thru window.

The drive-thru window is currently prohibited under the site’s existing zoning, according to county documents.

The county’s records also show the restaurant would have a 3,400 square foot building and 37 parking spaces.

The Planning Commission’s decision is not the final hurdle the bank and Burel LLC has to clear it gets approval to proceed with the Dairy Queen. The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners will have the final say on the matter when it holds a public hearing currently expected to take place July 23.

The county’s planning staff has also recommended approval of the restaurant.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta. I eventually wandered away from home and attended the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, Miss., where I first tried my hand at majoring in film for a couple of years. And then political sc