The Mayfair Civic Association considered several zoning issues at its May 20 meeting, highlighted by a plan to completely demolish and rebuild the McDonald’s restaurant at Cottman Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard.
Attorney Brett Feldman told residents the franchise owner and the fast food company plan to spend more than $4 million on the project. He said it’s the first time a McDonald’s rehabilitation in Philadelphia has included a complete demolition.
“I think we all know this location is really in need of a major facelift,” Feldman said. “It’s just not respectful the way it is.”
“This will be the most state-of-the-art McDonald’s restaurant in the city,” he added.
The footprint of the restaurant would grow by about 1,000 square feet, but it will still seat 86. There will be 56 parking spaces, and a curb will be installed to separate the lot from parking at the adjacent Four Seasons Diner.
Feldman said the new restaurant will be built several feet farther away from Cottman Avenue compared to the current building.
There was a lot of discussion about traffic in the area, with some residents particularly concerned about cars coming out of the McDonald’s turning left onto Cottman. A representative from the project’s design team said a “No Left Turn” sign would be installed.
In addition, the number of curb cuts on the Boulevard side would be cut down from four to one, Feldman said.
Members of the Mayfair Civic voted to support the project and included a condition that the franchise owner consider using building materials to better reflect the character of the neighborhood’s homes.
Representatives from the property said they would look into the suggestion and check with McDonald’s.
The plan is scheduled to go in front of the Zoning Board of Adjustment on July 10.
In other zoning matters, residents voted to oppose a permit for a daycare center on the first floor at 3300 St. Vincent St. Amia Williams wants to operate a daycare for a maximum of 12 children ages 6 weeks to 9 years old.
Neighbors said the intersection, at Rowland Avenue, is busy and not safe for kids. They also raised concerns about parking, traffic and space at the property.
Williams became emotional, saying she didn’t expect to “get drilled” at the community meeting. Her ZBA hearing is scheduled for July 24.
Residents voted in favor of a special exemption for a sign at the new Mayfair Theater, 6243 Frankford Ave.
The property is owned by Mike “Scoats” Scotese, owner of the Grey Lodge, and his partners and is being rented to the Mayfair Business Improvement District, according to BID Executive Director Marc Collazzo. It has been in operation as a theater since March.
The ZBA will consider the case June 26.
In other news from the May 20 Mayfair Civic meeting:
Members voted overwhelmingly in favor of a change to the civic’s bylaws about voting eligibility. Residents must now have attended three meetings before they are allowed to vote on zoning issues unless they were notified by mail about a particular property.
Those seeking zoning approvals must send notices to all properties on their block and any residents within 200 feet of their property.
The Mayfair Civic bylaws already included the three-meeting rule, but there was no carve-out for nearby residents.
Last month, members of the civic’s board decided to waive the three-meeting rule to accommodate a host of new members who wanted to vote on a controversial proposal for a rooftop deck at a soon-to-open restaurant and karaoke club at Cottman and Brous avenues.
MCA President Donny Smith said the April meeting sparked discussion about the voter eligibility requirements.
The Pennypack Music Festival kicks off Wednesday, May 29, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ed Kelly Amphitheater. Steal Your Face, a Grateful Dead tribute band, will perform. LeCompt will perform June 5. For a full schedule, visit www.pennypack.org.
City agencies will be holding an open house Thursday, May 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mayfair Community Center, St. Vincent and Battersby streets, to discuss improving Frankford Avenue, including planned changes to the Cottman Avenue intersection and a transportation study of Frankford between Cheltenham Avenue and Rhawn Street.
The Mayfair Civic Association is not scheduled to meet again until September. For updates about possible special zoning meetings between now and then, check the civic’s Facebook page. ••
Jack Tomczuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.