Panel backs McDonald's plan

Panel backs McDonald's plan

Fast-food chain seeks to build at Bowman, Main

DANVILLE — A zoning request for a new McDonald's restaurant on East Main Street breezed through the planning and zoning commission Thursday night.

The commission voted unanimously to change the zoning of five properties on the northeast corner of Bowman Avenue and Main Street from residential to highway business. The request now moves on to the city council on July 17 for final consideration.

The request for the zoning change was made by GMX Real Estate Group on behalf of its client, the McDonald's Corp., which intends to build one of its fast-food restaurants on that corner. The tip of the corner is a vacant lot that's already zoned for highway business, but the restaurant plan, which covers 1.3 acres and includes a 3,900-square-foot building, 45 parking spaces and a two-lane drive-up, requires the rezoning and purchase of five additional properties. Access to the restaurant will be from Bowman Avenue, not East Main Street.

The lots — 97, 101, 103 and 105 N. Bowman Ave. and 906 MacArthur Place — all have rental houses on them and have been optioned by GMX. The group has also requested that a portion of the alley adjacent to those properties be vacated, but that request will be decided by the city's public works committee and city council later this summer.

The city sent 38 letters to property owners in the immediate vicinity, notifying them of the request and the zoning meeting. Chris Milliken, planning and zoning manager, said the city did not receive any complaints or comments prior to the meeting, and no one spoke against the rezoning request at Thursday's meeting. GMX and McDonald's officials met more than a month ago with residents in the area to discuss their development plans.

Andrew Uttan, the engineer on the project, said the houses on the rezoned properties should be demolished this year, and construction and the restaurant opening will be next year. Uttan said McDonald's wants to increase its presence on the east side of town as its current restaurants, on Gilbert and North Vermilion streets, are on the west side.