Vote Postponed on McDonald's Proposal
City planning commission hears McDonald's plans, as well as residents' concerns; decision on the project deferred to November meeting.
The city’s planning commission postponed a decision on the plans to build a McDonald’s on the site of the former Detroit Theatre on Wednesday night.
But that doesn’t mean that the project is off the table.
About eight representatives from the fast-food giant attended the meeting at city hall to unveil a traffic study and to discuss concerns with residents who live near the proposed restaurant.
They were also seeking to combine two parcels of land at the site, and obtain a conditional use permit to allow an accessory parking lot in a residential district.
It makes a few key recommendations that include tearing up a crosswalk and removing a traffic signal.
According to the study, obtained by Lakewood Patch earlier this week, the current and projected traffic flow at the intersection of Detroit and Hall avenues does not warrant a traffic light, but a stop sign.
The crosswalk on the west side of the Hall Avenue and Detroit Avenue intersection, which will impede one of McDonald's proposed driveways, is recommended for removal.
Turns out, traffic is a major concern for residents.
About 25 of them turned out for the meeting, which lasted nearly three hours.
Fran Storch, who has lived on Woodward Avenue for 28 years, has attended each of the public meetings on the issue. She’s not buying the assertion that traffic on her street won’t be impacted once the Golden Arches have been planted.
“Does anybody believe that?"
“It’s ridiculous that all of this traffic is on a side street — a residential street,” she said. “I do hope that as citizens and residents and tax-paying people that we do have some say over all this traffic that will be coming onto our street.”
“The trees are beautiful, the building is beautiful,” Storch added. “But I am concerned with the traffic.”
According to the study, the new McDonald's will generate about 450 total new travelers during the morning and evening rush hours. That does not include impulse customers who stop on their way to another destination.
McDonald’s officials agreed to put up signs alerting motorists that right turns onto Woodward Avenue are not allowed.
Not good enough, said the residents.
Many asked that a concrete barrier be erected to prevent the southbound turns.
Other residents asked for a traffic light at the Detroit/Woodward intersection.
McDonald’s officials said they would be open to having a traffic signal at the intersection, adding that they would continue to discuss other concerns including the barrier.
Mayor Michael Summers said the administration would consider a traffic light at the intersection — with a $120,000 price tag — even though the city has already begun a multi-million-dollar traffic light replacement and signalization project.
Members of the planning commission agreed that they'd like more time to think about the proposal.
Mike Lewis, area real estate manger for McDonald’s, said the company has not yet purchased the building — which was listed for $695,000.
He said if the plans move forward construction could begin in 2012.
“We value the concerns that the residents have and we take them to heart,” he said.
Lakewood Patch reporter Cory Shaffer contributed to this report