McDonald’s to level two buildings, re-build on expanded location

First Posted: 1/6/2015

SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Plans are almost complete for a new McDonald’s restaurant on Northern Blvd.

Mike Jeitner, of Bohler Engineering, was in attendance at the township supervisors’ meeting Jan. 5, along with two McDonald’s representatives, to give a presentation on the formal plans, which were reviewed and forwarded to the board by the planning commission.

“They [McDonald’s] want to upgrade their building so it’s more in line with their new branding initiative,” Jeitner said, adding the new plans will eliminate the issue of traffic backing up at the drive-through.

The company aims to demolish its current building, along with the adjacent former Donut Connection, combining the two lot leases into one. While the current restaurant runs perpendicular to Northern Boulevard, the new one will be parallel. The building design is similar to that of the company’s Dunmore location, with two side-by-side drive-through ordering lanes.

Added to the upgrade are two bus parking spaces. Previously, there was nowhere for larger vehicles to park, aside from the exit lane of the access driveway.

Plans include a one-way counter-clockwise traffic circulation pattern around the building, as currently applies, but with two two-way entrance and exit points, along with plenty of parking on each side. The two entrance/exits will be located at the same spots as the current McDonald’s and former Donut Connection ones, but with rounded edges for easier turns. The Donut Connection side is to continue allowing left turns.

Another addition to the new plans are stormwater facilities, including an infiltration area and rain garden.

“What it does,” Jeitner said, “is instead of holding the water, there’s a soil mixture within the surface of the rain garden area down to about two to two-and-a-half feet down, and it’s a very refined soil mixture with sod and sand and other things, so that it’s filtering the water as it gets to the bottom of the rain garden area. And that it’s either infiltrating into the ground, or picking up in some under drains and discharging.”

The ultimate discharge will be to the inlet connection at the front of Route 6 (Northern Blvd.). Jeitner explained, however, the new site will produce less stormwater discharge than the old, due to several green areas added, not only around the perimeter, but inside the lot.

The main drawback in the plans currently is a request from PennDOT for the stormwater connection to be held in the name of the municipality, to which the township is opposed. The board discussed various options to solve the problem, such as entering into a tri-party agreement between the municipality, McDonald’s and the property owner, but did not come to a conclusion at the meeting.

“We are very pro-development,” Township Solicitor Bill Jones told Jeitner. “We just don’t want to own storm sewer.”

In other business, Township Manager David O’Neill gave his report, including five items:

  • An individual approached the township regarding the possibility of purchasing township-owned Mountain Meadows property. Although the property was donated to the township for recreation use only, a sale may be permissible, should the funds be used for recreation purposes. Supervisors agreed to further explore the matter.
  • Supervisors discussed the possibility of eliminating the township’s two rental units in the spring or summer, but no conclusion was reached.
  • O’Neill talked about purchasing a Ford F550 and a Freightliner 10-ton truck from Costars. Road Maintenance Supervisor Joseph Sproul suggested seeking a lower price on the 10-ton, to which O’Neill agreed.
  • The township’s website is in need of a re-design, and O’Neill presented an option offered by PSATC (Pennsylvania State Association of Township Commissioners), which would cost approximately $200 to set up and the same to maintain each year. Township Clerk Susan McLane would be trained to maintain the site. Supervisors voted their approval.
  • Supervisors voted to pre-approve vendor bills at their regular meetings, which will now be held monthly, rather than bi-monthly.

A re-organization meeting was held prior to the regular meeting. Moving forward, meetings in 2015 will be held at 7 p.m. the second Monday of each month in the township building. With the exception of Mark Spatz being named representative to the Abington Area Joint Recreation Board, all appointments remain the same as last year, with Giles Stanton as chairman and Sproul as vice chairman.

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