McDonald’s to replace restaurant on Rt. 18


Staff Writer

EAST BRUNSWICK – The McDonald’s restaurant on Route 18 southbound will be demolished and replaced with a new building and an added drive-thru lane.

The Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the project at its July 5 meeting, granting McDonald’s a use variance and bulk variances to demolish the 3,459-square-foot restaurant and replace it with a building of similar size that has two drive-up lanes rather than just one.

The restaurant was built in 1977, and in 1986 received site plan approval for an addition and other improvements. In 1990, the Zoning Board approved the drive-thru addition, according to a staff report on file at the township Division of Planning and Engineering.

The restaurant is located at 361-363 Route 18 south in a highway commercial zone, where it is a conditional use. The property is about 1 acre in size and is adjacent to a tire store to the north, a Chili’s restaurant to the south and Lowe’s Home Improvement store to the west.

According to the report, McDonald’s required variances for a number of reasons, including a failure to provide the number of parking spaces required by township ordinance. A 56-seat restaurant requires 38 parking spots, while 32 were provided.

The restaurant also requested relief from zoning guidelines with regard to fencing; lot width, as 200 feet were required, but 134 feet provided; landscape buffer (20 feet of frontage was required, 10 feet provided); and parking and driveway setbacks, which were 4 feet short of the requirements.

McDonald’s representatives said part of the reason for the new building is to reconfigure the drive-thru system. Both new lanes will be located behind the building but will merge into one for payment and pickup.

There will also be new sidewalks on part of the site, a crosswalk leading from the handicap parking spaces to the front entrance of the restaurant, and another walkway from the sidewalk on Route 18 to the front door.