Opposition to plans for a new restaurant in the University District continue to complicate McDonald's Corporation from constructing their new building on the Highland Strip.
On Tuesday night, the city council debated whether to delay the vote on the application for the build of a new McDonald's on the southeast corner of Highland and Southern.
President Cindy Reeves, from the SR Consulting firm, asked the council for a delay on proceeding forward until Dec. 17, in order for the design team to create an alternate plan to accommodate the wishes of the neighbors of the University District.
Attorney David Wade advised the council to move forward on the vote since the issue has been on hold for five months. He argued that the proposed plans would not address the basic objection that the neighbors had with the original plan.
The issue surrounding the vote on the application is the proposed loop-around drive-thru that will not comply with the University District Overlay. The overlay standards have been an issue with many developments in the University District.
The neighbors want McDonald's to have a more pedestrian friendly frontage on the strip and avoid a drive-thru all together. However, Reeves argued that 70 percent of McDonald's sales come from the drive-thru.
"The business has to have a drive-thru," she said.
In a 9-4 vote, the city council decided to delay the vote on the application until Dec. 17 and urged the neighbors and the consulting firm to come to a compromise.
"Right now the neighbors are dug in and McDonald's is dug in and maybe with time there can be some kind of compromise," council member Shea Flinn said.
He reminded the council of a similar example of this kind of hearing with the building of CVS on Union and Cooper. He said that opposition for a delay on that project was very against it and everyone ended up with something "less good."
"If McDonald's wants to be a part of the community, then they will find a compromise because McDonald's knows that this council will be in full support of the aesthetics of this district, " council member Harold Collins said.