Does A Fast-Food Drive-Thru Belong Here?

When zoning laws permit high-traffic, fast-food, drive thru's, a whole neighborhood can be affected.


Editor's Note: Middletown Planning and Zoning cancelled for Feb. 12, rescheduled to Feb. 27.

There are those who advocate a change in the MX code who say it won't alter the character of the neighborhood.

Let's say, for example, that a high-traffic, drive thru restaurant is allowed on Washington Street, just South of High.  That means more traffic on High and Pearl.  A big black-top parking lot.  Dumpsters, early morning deliveries, idling cars, illuminated signs, industrial fans and air conditioners.  Noise. Litter. Diesel fumes mixed with the scent of greasy food.  Ugly, right?  And those factors will influence every home within a block of this restaurant.  But advocates say it wouldn't affect that neighborhood.  Here's a little photo essay to give you a sense of the neighborhood it would affect.  You decide, where should the Burger King go?

The Middletown Planning and Zoning Commission meets Feb. 13 at 7 PM, in City Hall's Council Chambers to deliberate two significant zoning proposals which could affect this neighborhood, and others.

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Ellen Feldman-Ornato February 12, 2013 at 08:58 PM
If the Planning Commission seems intent on implementing this change, here are a few suggestions: 1) Require a minimum 50' buffer between the rear edge of any parking area and the adjacent residential area. The buffer must contain BOTH a physical barrier (min. 8' high fence) and landscaping. 2) All dumpsters must be enclosed and placed against a lot line that does not abut a residential area. 3) Delivery vehicles with refrigeration may not be left to idle in ANY parking lots that are adjacent to existing residential areas. Other deliveries are restricted to the hours of 8AM-8PM. 4) Signage: No back-lit, illuminated signs are permitted. 5) No left turns can be permitted out of ANY of these establishments onto Route 66. Rather, all must feed into a single access road that runs behind the restaurants and exits to a side street. This will ensure that the traffic flows through existing signals. NOTE: The City should request a traffic study by the State Traffic Commission (paid for by the developers) before any changes are permitted in use/intensity of use along this narrow, residential and historic section of Route 66. The area's four lanes are already inadequate with regard to traffic volume and flow and any substantial increases in volume will seriously exacerbate this situation.
Sam February 13, 2013 at 02:50 PM
For appearances: The building should reflect the architecture of its surroundings as much as possible. Consider the Dunkin Donuts building in Durham and McDonalds in Canton. They are not your garish colors with gigantic signage,
Ellen Feldman-Ornato February 13, 2013 at 06:09 PM
I agree completely with regard to architectural standards and the requirement that all new buildings be constructed at a scale and look that's compatible with the surrounding buildings.
Anonymous February 13, 2013 at 10:47 PM
@ Ellen when the architekt pushing this project is head of the design taste & historic prezervation committee - so all that stuff you say not gonna happen- just going to get passed- these people are selling out ther own town!


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