Bucks County Herald

Proposed McDonald’s at turnpike interchange put on hold


A proposed McDonald’s in Milford Township, Bucks County, will have to wait.

While representatives for Quakertown AM LLC had hoped for land development approvals to build a McDonald’s restaurant and drive-through, issues with the plan raised by Milford Township staff and supervisors nixed a land development vote.

Questions remained over curbing, sidewalks, public road improvements and other site development issues, which surfaced during a conditional use public hearing.

“You are not going to get a land development approval tonight,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Mansfield, after informally polling the three-member board regarding their disposition to act on a request for a McDonald’s restaurant and drive-through. The public hearing was held during a regular business meeting March 28.

“Our fire chief has not seen the plan. We’ve only received the plan tonight, and there are too many questions that need to be resolved,” Mansfield said.

The McDonald’s would be located on a vacant property bounded by Route 663, and AM and Progress drives. The property is across from Faraco’s Pizza, located at 1850 John Fries Highway (Route 663), just west of the Quakertown Interchange for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension.

The site includes flood plain, substantial wetlands and at least 2 feet of unusable soils. “There have been property issues,” said Christen Pionzio, a principal and attorney with Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell and Lupin in Lansdale. Pionzio represented the property owner at the meeting.

Pionzio said about 70 percent of the restaurant’s trade was expected to come from drive-through service sales. The McDonald’s would be walking distance from hotels on the same side of Route 663, which include a Holiday Inn Express and SpringHill Suites by Mariott.

Further discussions included how to protect the property from trucks and tractor-trailer damage into and out of the site.

Because of Department of Environmental Protection requirements to protect wetlands, extensive plantings were part of the proposal, as was the elimination of curbing along AM Drive in order to allow water to “sheet” onto and through the site to protect wetlands at the back of the proposed development.

Supervisor Charles Strunk opposed a plan not to install any curbing along the edge of the driveways. “If you don’t have curbing, you are going to have a mess out there from truck traffic,” Strunk said.

A compromise proposed would allow some interrupted curbing, which would provide a barrier for vehicles with gaps to allow for rainwater to flow back to the wetlands along AM Drive.

Mansfield requested the same treatment to be explored for the boundary at Progress Drive.

“You can explore it, and if you come back and tell me no (on Progress), then that is your answer,” Mansfield said.

Township Solicitor Terry Clemens said the conditional use request included 21 waivers.
“We don’t want to give you a condition that is (based) on an unknown,” Mansfield said.



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