Milton planners approve final site plan for McDonald’s

Commissioners still have concerns about traffic
May 24, 2024

After a lengthy site-plan review process and some remaining questions about access, the Milton Planning and Zoning Commission voted 6-1 to approve the final site plan for McDonald’s to build a 4,000-square-foot restaurant at the corner of Route 16 and Union Street Extended.

Approval of the site plans has long been held back due to concerns about access to the restaurant, specifically drive aisles within the existing Food Lion shopping center lot that will be used to get people there. When the commission passed the preliminary site plan last year, it imposed conditions on McDonald’s to address concerns about speeding, parking and emergency vehicle access. Not satisfied with the answers McDonald’s gave them at the April 16 meeting, the commission agreed to table the application at McDonald’s request.

The plans for access to the restaurant shows traffic coming off Union Street Extended to make a right into the far right lane of the shopping center. Markings would be placed on the pavement to guide motorists to the right spot and stop bars would be placed on all of the drive aisles. Bill Rhodunda, attorney for McDonald’s, said the lane was chosen because it typically has the least amount of traffic in the shopping center.

However, the commission raised concerns about cars backing out and large trucks parked in that area, causing a safety hazard. Commissioner Lynn Ekelund said one of the commission’s problems with the plan was that it made getting to the McDonald’s very awkward. 

“It’s a lot of maneuvering to get to this drive aisle, which is why nobody parks there,” Ekelund said. 

Commissioner Maurice McGrath, who cast the only vote against, also believed that McDonald’s was underselling its traffic counts during summer weekends.

“Your traffic is going to double, at least,” he said. “It’s going to cause problems.”

McDonald’s representatives said the shopping center’s parking lot has been extensively studied and that the lot is equipped to handle any increase in traffic caused by the restaurant.

Still, Chair Richard Trask asked McDonald’s to address a number of things as a condition of final approval, including an updated engineering report, to ensure all traffic improvement measures are spelled out, a lighting plan and additional detail for the traffic sign measures.


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