The Edmond Planning Commission approved the site plan for McDonald’s 5-0 Tuesday night. But the vote came with some reservations about acceptance of the landscaping variance for the property proposed for the southwest corner of Covell and I-35.
City Planner Bob Schiermeyer said the plan does not provide the 10-foot wide improved landscape area the city requires along the east property line. McDonald’s is planning for a 7-foot wide landscaping area instead of the 10 feet required between the parking and right-of-way, said Ryan Oschner, Urban Forestry coordinator.
The smaller landscape will cause McDonald’s to be 122 planting units short of requirements for the site, Oschner said. Planning Commission Chairman asked why McDonald’s cannot provide the 122 planting units on their property.
“I’m not sure why that isn’t possible,” Oschner said.
In representing McDonald’s, Greg Massey with Red Plains civil engineering company said McDonald’s is able to provide the 122 planting units on the site. However, negotiations with city staff has instead resulted in McDonald’s asking to provide landscaping and maintenance on the median islands within Market Street.
“Medians within public right-of-way are dedicated to the city, unless such areas are platted to identify a specific owner,” Schiermeyer said. Commissioner Bill Moyer said he is proud of the landscaping requirements for the Interstate 35 corridor.
“I want to make sure we get what we bargained for,” Moyer said.
Massey said he agreed with city staff when he was asked if McDonald’s would be willing to place the plantings in the median. The median would be considered a common area to be maintained by McDonald’s Massey said.
Massey told Commissioner Mark Hoose that legal documents would be provided, stating that the median would be a perpetual easement relating to any successor of McDonald’s.
“Do you have any documentation of that nature in place at this point in time?” Hoose said.
Schiermeyer said the city can get the documentation with the acceptance of the plat.
The City Council is better suited to discuss the variance when the Council meets Jan. 27, Moyer said.
Additionally, the dumpster for the project is to be located over some utilities. Schiermeyer suggested that McDonald’s should enclose the dumpster with a stockade fence instead of using brick in the event that utility work would be needed in the future.
Moore said on Wednesday that he supports McDonald’s being at I-35 and Covell. Although he voted for the item, Moore said he believes McDonald’s should meet the minimum landscaping requirements. The site will be within walking distance from the Hilton Garden Inn and convention center that is being developed on the northwest corner of I-35 and Covell.
“It’s not like we are asking them to do something which is extraordinary or impossible to do,” Moore said. “This is the I-35 corridor. We made it very clear in the past that this is a special part of Edmond that needs to be treated differently.”
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