Scarborough Planning Board OKs rebuilding McDonald's

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SCARBOROUGH — After more than a year of presentations and revisions, McDonald’s restaurant owners got their break Monday night when the Planning Board approved a new restaurant at 221 U.S. Route 1.

The unanimous vote came after Kerry Corthell, serving as a nonvoting board alternate, criticized the revised exterior plan for the new 3,900-square-foot restaurant.

“I appreciate the effort,” Corthell said. “I still have a little issue with it not having a more traditional New England roof line.”

McDonald’s construction manager Adam Guilmette said the design is “our attempt at New England architecture.”

The new restaurant, to be built on the footprint of the existing 30-year-old McDonald’s, will be “state-of-the-art” in its interior seating and kitchen design, Guilmette said.

Board members Ronald Mazer and Jeffrey Thomas offered strong support for the plan.

“I think you have done a good job and it is time to approve this,” Thomas said, who said he wanted to avoid perceptions town government is anti-business.

Mazer dismissed questions about the vibrant yellow awnings planned for the exterior by complimenting planners from Southboro, Mass.-based Bohler Engineering on their work.

“I’m all for this. You have done as good a job as possible with what you have to work with,” he said. “It is much better than that atrocity that’s down the street now.”

Plan approval came with conditions, including Planning Department approval of the materials to be used in windows on a faux second floor, outdoor sign designs, and proof of the easement needed to build a sidewalk on privately owned Plaza Drive.

The new restaurant will continue a trend of redevelopment in the Oak Hill area near the intersection of Routes 1 and Route 114. Revisions to the final plan were drawn to resemble standards applied to the construction of Walgreens in 2010.

That included the building height and windows, but also for stamped instead of painted crosswalks.

If restaurant owners do not get the easement for the sidewalk, restaurant reconstruction will continue. Documenting the easement is needed to show they have permission to go forward, Assistant Town Planner Jay Chace said.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.