No Big Mac for you

Ronald, denied.

Ronald, denied.

Oak Park likely won’t be getting a new McDonald’s any time soon.

For years, the Golden Arches has hoped to drop a franchise in the neighborhood on a long-vacant lot at the corner of Stockton Boulevard and Second Avenue. Residents opposed this proposed fast-food restaurant, however, and not just because they want healthier food options in their community.

The catch is that McDonald’s wants a drive-thru at this new location, of course. But this area near the UC Davis Medical Center has significant pedestrian density—and activists argue that a drive-thru would create a logjam of cars where people typically walk (see “Not lovin’ it” by Andrew Bell; SN&R Frontlines; September 15, 2011).

McDonald’s appealed to the city last year to allow for a drive-thru, but this week city staff will recommend to deny Ronald and Co.’s request at a planning-commission meeting.

The city also argues that a McDonald’s goes against the 2030 general plan. Specifically, staff cites that it is not a “sensitive transition” from the neighborhoods to commercial areas.

The staff report includes 69 pages of letters opposing the new Oak Park McDonald’s. A neighborhood group, Healthy Development for Oak Park, plans to demonstrate at this Thursday’s planning commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. at city hall.

The fast-food chain has not stated whether it will pursue the new location if denied by the city.

It’s also worth noting that, if approved, the new McDonald’s would be directly across the street from a UC Davis obesity clinic. (Nick Miller)