YONKERS, N.Y. (PIX11) — Yonkers residents are speaking out against a plan to build the city’s first Chick-fil-A restaurant in their neighborhood.

“We want quality of life. We don’t want accidents,” said Yonkers resident Joanne Gaito.

Gaito and her neighbors are downright angry that Chick-fil-A has set its sights on their Yonkers neighborhood to open the fast-food chain’s first Westchester County location. They say the novelty of being first is sure to attract a flood of visitors and create nightmare traffic.

“That firehouse, if somebody dies because they can’t get out of that firehouse because of all the traffic that’s here because of the fast food. This is not an area for fast food,” said neighbor Charlie Bosch.

“A popular restaurant like Chick-fil-A, which is known for creating five simultaneous lines, you are just creating a recipe for disaster,” exclaimed another concerned resident.

There are other fast-food and takeout spots along the busy roadway, but the neighbors say this particular lot is too small to accommodate Chick-fil-A’s busy drive-thru service, and the stretch is one of the few gateways into their community.

“It’s good food. We have nothing against them. It’s all about the traffic problems that are going to occur,” said Yonkers City Council member Anthony Merante.

Merante said he was blindsided by the City of Yonkers Planning Board’s decision to approve the plan following a New York State Department of Transportation traffic study warning about possible traffic jams. He said all signs indicated that the restaurant would not be approved, but board members changed their minds without giving him or the residents an explanation.

“The planning board chairperson, he told the people presenting for Chick-fil-A, ‘I do not see this happening,'” said Hamdy Elgindy, who lives a few feet away from where the restaurant would open.

Members of the Planning Board were appointed by current Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. The mayor told PIX11 News in a statement: “It’s disappointing when a Yonkers Councilmember politicizes the city’s economic opportunities for the benefit of their campaign…We certainly will work with both the company and our area residents to mitigate any potential issues.”

The board will have a do-over vote on Wednesday night at Yonkers City Hall, due to procedural concerns that residents did not get enough notice the first time around. 

PIX11 News reached out to Chick-fil-A for comment but hasn’t heard back.