YAKIMA, Wash. — Citing potential traffic impacts, city planning officials said they are seeking additional information before starting a review of the proposed McDonald’s in downtown Yakima.
Planning officials are also continuing discussions with McDonald’s and property owner Patti Schneider regarding the design of the proposed restaurant at 19 E. Yakima Ave.
“We’re doing our best to have a sensitive design that works for us and the customer,” said Steve Osguthorpe, community development director, who will be reviewing the application with senior planner Bruce Benson.
Meanwhile, the city is working to develop new design and planning standards for the downtown area. The city’s lack of such standards limits its ability to make sure new projects are compatible with revitalization efforts, including the North Front Street Historic District close to the McDonald’s site. While such standards are not in place, the city wants to make sure the restaurant is as compatible as possible with the area, Osguthorpe said.
In response to city concerns, for example, McDonald’s submitted a traffic study late last month that concludes, among other things, that existing intersections and the drive-thru as designed can safely accommodate traffic from customers.
Among the impacts the city is examining is a hairpin turn customers would have to make to get to the drive-thru window once they’ve turned off Yakima Avenue. The city also wants to examine the traffic impacts at North First Street and Yakima Avenue.
“This is a high-profile and busy intersection,” Osguthorpe said.
Traffic engineers will examine McDonald’s traffic study to see whether more information will be needed.
The planning department also wants to find out more about the traffic impacts of food and supply deliveries.
Since the property will continue to house a restaurant, the planning department’s review does not require a public comment period. McDonald’s Corp. submitted the application in February.
But Osguthorpe said the city is aware of concerns voiced by the project’s detractors.
“We’re sensitive to the way a project like this fits into downtown,” he said.
• Mai Hoang can be reached at 509-759-7851 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.