The plan for a new Batavia McDonald's cleared another hurdle Tuesday night.
The Community Development Committee unanimously recommended approval of for a double drive through.
The variances and conditional use permit now need to pass the Batavia City Council to become official. The Plan Commission will also discuss and vote on a design review for the new McDonald's on April 18. Once these steps are complete, the project can officially get underway.
"I'm glad you're staying in town," Alderman Dave Brown told the McDonald's representatives after the vote.
McDonald’s plans to demolish and build a smaller 4,039-square foot restaurant with a double drive-thru.
Talk of the Town
What generated the most discussion on Tuesday night? The variance to allow the restaurant to be set back 78 feet from Wilson Street.
According to a City staff memo, the setback provides vehicle circulation around the building, which is necessary for a safe and efficient drive-thru.
“I think it is an improvement over what is there," said Alderwoman Lucy Thelin-Atec. "I see that they’re making some effort to be pedestrian and bike friendly. It’s being built on the same footprint.”
While most aldermen felt the plan was an improvement, others were concerned that the need for convenience compromised the vision for a pedestrian and bike-friendly downtown.
“I’m trying to look towards a vision for our downtown, and the variance for a setback is what I’m struggling with,” said Alderwoman Dawn Tenuta. She was pleased with the improvements and effort going into the project.
“We’ve put a lot of time and effort into our comprehensive plan and into our vision that we see of Batavia, and I’d like to stay true to that vision,” said Alderman Michael O’Brien.
“I don’t see really any accommodations for pedestrians at all,” O’Brien said.
McDonald’s Consultant Rich Neubauer acknowledged that McDonald’s is a drive-thru business and that 72 percent of the customers are drive-thru.
“Our business is based on convenience,” Neubauer said. “We’ve got to be convenient. We’ve got to get the people on and off the site.”
Step By Step
Before construction can begin, the design review needs to be approved by the Plan Commission and the Batavia City Council needs to approve the variance requests. The Plan Commission will continue discussion on the design at the April 18 meeting and consider five recommendations:
- Switch current stone to Batavia limestone
- Reposition current bike racks and add more racks
- Create a more pedestrian-friendly entryway in
front of building
- Pave parking lot crosswalks with clay pavers
- Make front doorway more appealing
The full Batavia City Council is likely to vote on the variances at its April 16 meeting or another upcoming meeting.
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