Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Mebane could get another McDonald’s

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Mebane could be getting its second McDonald’s, this one of the north side of the city, if the city council approves the necessary rezoning that passed the city’s planning board unanimously on Monday night, 8-0.

The rezoning is necessary in order to allow the drive-thru component of the fast-food restaurant on the 1.06-acre lot at the North Third Street entrance into the Oak Manor Market shopping center that is anchored by Food Lion.  Current zoning for the three outparcels at the shopping center is limited to dine-in.

The company’s attorney, Patrick L. Byker, relayed to the planning board that such a restriction was commonplace across many jurisdictions 20 years ago in the era when the shopping center was built.

Byker also noted the dramatically changing demographics that McDonald’s has observed about the preferences of its customers.  Originally about 70 percent of customers would sit in the restaurant, while 30 percent used the drive-thru.  Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Byker said, these statistics had reversed, with about 70 percent using the drive-thru.

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Now, the drive-thru is even more dominant, with 80-85 percent using the drive thru, he said.

The change in the rezoning to allow a drive-thru does not affect zoning for the other two remaining vacant outparcels, which will continue to carry the prohibition on drive-thrus.

An appraiser for the company assured the planning board that based on his examination of four local restaurants, two with and two  without drive-thrus, there was no “adverse impact” on the value of surrounding residential properties.

[Story continues below map of future McDonald’s location.]

McDonald’s will be on a 1.06-acres tract to the left (north) of driveway into the shopping center off North First Street in Mebane.

The planning board voted unanimously, 8-0, for the proposed rezoning, i.e., the issuance of a special use permit to allow the drive-thru.  The vote was proposed by Kurt Pearson and supported by him, chairman Edward Tulauskas, vice chairman Judy Taylor, and members Williams Chapman, Colin Connell, Keith Hoover, Gale Pettiford, and David Scott.  The board’s ninth member, Susan Semonite, was out of the country and not present.

In an interview after the meeting, representatives of the company told The Alamance News their hopeful schedule: to begin construction within 60 days of city council approval (the item will be included on the June 3 agenda), with construction estimated to take about 90 days after that.

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