McDonald's fended off a court challenge of the Monroe Planning & Zoning Commission's approval of a new restaurant at 579 Main Street, but two neighboring property owners then brought a second challenge before the appellate court.
Rather than just waiting on the next court decision, Peter Gelderman, an attorney for Real Time Investments LLC, which owns the property, said McDonald's will reapply for the restaurant while addressing some alleged technical deficiencies in the original P&Z approval.
"This is a two-pronged attack," Gelderman said. "If we win in court, we will go with that approval. If not, then we'll continue with the application."
On Tuesday night, Gelderman presented a building design plan to the Monroe Architectural Review Board.
Of the lawsuit, Gelderman said the P&Z Commission had waived some of the landscaping and buffering requirements for a commercial property with an adjacent residential parcel. Two neighbors challenged that, contending that the P&Z could not waive its own regulations — and that a Zoning Board of Appeals approval would be needed instead.
Gelderman said the zoning regulations have a provision allowing the commission to waive some minor requirements. Since the original application was approved, Gelderman said the neighboring property changed its zoning to a DB1 for Meineke Muffler, so the issue no longer applies.
A Better Design
Two years ago, Real Time Investments had presented a block-shaped corporate building and the ARB wanted a more colonial design. Gelderman recalled how McDonald's would not okay revisions to the design until the P&Z later made a similar request. As a result, the ARB, which is an advisory board, never had a chance to review the latest, more colonial design.
"Obviously it shouldn't have happened, but it did," said ARB Chairman John Rosen.
Gelderman showed ARB members a sample of Cultured Stone in a sandstone beige color. This would go around the base of the building. The rest of the building would be a khaki brown hardi board with artic white trim.
Gelderman said the only yellow would be for the arches in the sign.
The building would have a standing seam metal roof.
Joyce Mumm, an ARB member, asked if the metal would be shiny and Gelderman said no, it would be brushed.
The building's mechanicals would be screened in the middle of the roof.
Nancy Steinborn, an ARB member, said she liked the materials, but not the industrial looking roof.
Fellow board member Michael Vitello agreed, saying, "I don't like the metal roof design. I'd rather see an asphalt shingle or a slate-like roof on it."
Raymond Ganser, another board member, said the roof should be black or brown, but not gray. Another color the board liked was charcoal.
Vitello also wanted the stone wainscoting to be higher than just over two feet. Instead, he thought it should be about 4"8 high.
Steinborn added that the attractive Cultured Stone should be used for the entire front facade that would be seen from Route 25.
Gelderman said he would check with his client on the ARB's suggested changes to the design and get back to them.
"This is so much improved," Mumm said of the newer building design.