Recently, the Alliance of Delray Residential Associations met with a McDonald’s restaurant representative to discuss potential plans to open a new location at the Village of Oriole Plaza. The iconic fast-food restaurant’s delegate was met with objections to the new site coming to the Delray Beach community. However, despite strong opposition from the Alliance and others in the surrounding community, a new McDonald’s location will be coming to the Village of Oriole Plaza.
The Commissioner’s Decision
According to a recent report, Palm Beach County Commissioners approved plans for a drive-thru McDonald’s fast-food restaurant despite strong community disagreement. The Alliance of Delray Residential Associations objected to the restaurant coming to the Village of Oriole Plaza, claiming that it would add more traffic to an already congested area. Lori Vinikoor, executive vice president of the Alliance, expressed disappointment but acknowledged that the commissioner’s decision “fits within the zoning rules.” In addition to the Alliance, leaders from several planned neighborhoods in the area also opposed the new restaurant. Communities such as Emerald Pointe, Gleneagles Country Club, Valencia Falls, and the Villages of Oriole and other raised objections. According to reports, Palm Beach County staff received 151 emails opposing the project and only three emails supporting it. Although the community residents’ concerns were voiced, McDonald’s proposal was consistent with the county’s growth plan and the commercial use of the property.
The New McDonald’s Location in Delray Beach
The restaurant will be constructed on a one-acre parcel of land east of a Dunkin’ and west of a Mobil gas station. The dining area will seat 67 people. This McDonald’s location will operate for 24-hours. However, the decision to permit 24-hour operation was approved by a narrow margin, and there are restrictions on when the restaurant will be able to receive deliveries. Additionally, McDonald’s will be required to plant additional trees along the east property line to create a visual buffer between the business and a bordering development.
Residents of neighboring communities continue to express concerns that the new McDonald’s will increase congestion, making it more difficult for people to get through traffic signals. Those living in planned communities already find it challenging to get to and from their neighborhoods and believe the new restaurant’s addition will add to the problem. There are also worries by some that the 24-hour restaurant will attract transients into the area in the overnight hours.
At Rabideau Klein, David E. Klein, Esq. and Guy Rabideau, Esq. are Florida Bar Board-Certified
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