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Batavia City Council OKs McDonald's Permit, Variances

A design review is still pending for the project. Here's what aldermen had to say on April 16.

The Batavia City Council on Monday approved three variances and a conditional use permit for a new downtown McDonald's.

Although the council mostly voted in favor of , the Plan Commission still needs to complete the design review before the project can get underway.

The Plan Commission intended to discuss at its meeting this Wednesday, April 18, but it has been continued to the May 9 meeting instead.

There were changes that the Zoning Board and the Plan Commission were waiting for McDonald’s to do, and there isn’t time for the Plan Commission to review those changes, Alderman Dave Brown said.

McDonald's want to tear down its and erect a new one in its place. The 4,039-sq. ft. restaurant would have a double drive-through, like

"We look forward to another 30 years with you," Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said to the restaurant's planners, who were in the audience at the council meeting.

Votes on Variances

The votes on the downtown Batavia McDonald's project was as follows:

Vote Total (for, against, absent)

Project Component Who Voted Against It?

9-4-1

Passed

Grant of Variance for Front Building Setback

  • Robert Liva
  • Mike O'Brien
  • Dawn Tenuta
  • Jim Volk

12-1-1

Passed

Grant of Variance for Monument Sign Planting Area

  • Jim Volk

12-1-1

Passed

Grant of Variance for Transparency and Entry on

Street Facing Building Elevation

  • Jim Volk

10-3-1

Passed

Conditional Use Permit Allowing Operation of a Restaurant With Double Drive-Through in the Downtown Mixed Use Zoning District
  • Robert Liva
  • Mike O'Brien
  • Dawn Tenuta

Note: Alderman Victor Dietz was absent and did not vote.

Aldermen Voice Concerns

Alderman Eldon Frydendall voted for the variances, but also gave his two cents.

“I just want (McDonald’s) corporate to know that some of us are not happy with their new image,” Frydendall said.

Alderman Jim Volk also shared his concerns.

“I’m not enthralled by the design,” Volk said.

In addition to the discussion on the restaurant design, council members voiced their concerns on the variances not complying with the Downtown Comprehensive Plan and the permit for the double drive-through.

“Nobody wants McDonald’s to leave the downtown,” Alderman Michael O’Brien said. “(But) we need to stay true to our goals, to our vision. This does not comply with the vision of Batavia for the future. It does not comply with our comprehensive plan. It does not comply with our ordinances.”

Alderman Robert Liva also spoke in favor of upholding the city's vision for downtown Batavia. He thinks that doubling up the drive-through is not the way to a sustainable society.

“I wholeheartedly believe we should stand firm to our comprehensive plan," Liva said. "I think the future generations of our community would be very happy and excited that we are looking to be a much more sustainable society in Batavia.”

Also against the conditional use permit was Alderwoman Dawn Tenuta.

“It’s been stated that approximately 70 percent of (McDonald’s) business is drive-thru," Tenuta said. "They say they want to get (the customers) in and out. Well, this is our downtown, and I don’t want to get people in and out of our downtown. I’d like people to stay.”

Want to find out what happens at the next McDonald's meeting?

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