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Dave Olson, Published February 01 2011

Moorhead looks to supersize 8th Street McDonald’s location

The McDonald’s restaurant on Eighth Street South in Moorhead wants to demolish its current building and build a new restaurant and parking lot on the same site.

The Moorhead Planning Commission will discuss the proposal at a meeting set for 5 p.m. tonight at City Hall.

City staff has recommended the board approve the idea.

As part of its plans, McDonald’s originally sought to have a chunk of property it owns just east of the restaurant rezoned from residential to commercial.

But that aspect of the proposal has been dropped due to neighborhood concerns, according to City Planner Kristie Leshovsky.

Leshovsky said McDonald’s property now zoned residential would stay that way under the company‘s latest proposal, though she said McDonald’s still plans to tear down two residential homes it owns while keeping one garage for storage purposes.

Under the latest plan, there would be no access to McDonald’s from Ninth Street, which had been a worry expressed by residents, Leshovsky said.

The new McDonald’s restaurant would be slightly smaller than the present one, and it would have a dual drive-thru.

McDonald’s plans to change its parking area somewhat, but overall parking space would stay roughly the same, according to Leshovsky.

She said before McDonald’s amended its latest proposal, it was similar to a plan the company unveiled about 10 years ago and then abandoned in the face of neighborhood opposition.

The proposal now before the Planning Commission could be seen as a compromise, according to Leshovsky.

“It essentially addresses the neighborhood concern about the two (residential) properties being zoned commercial,” she said.

The Moorhead City Council would ultimately decide whether McDonald’s can move forward with its plans.

Leshovsky said the company hopes to start construction this summer.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555