FARMINGTON -- A plan to bring a McDonald's to this community, as part of a mixed use project across the road from Station Park, is one step closer to a reality.
City officials recently approved a review process for Phase 2 of Park Lane Commons, despite a recommendation from the city's Planning Commission that the process be denied.
The proposed project is one small component of a master plan to develop 73 acres across Park Lane from Station Park. Haws Corporation is the developer.
City officials voted 3-1 to table the matter in November after reaching an impasse over whether the project had a legal Proposed Master Plan. After legal review, the developer's PMP was deemed appropriate and the project was brought back for review.
City staff had cited problems with the proposal in an area where form-based zoning codes have been adopted to bring a unique transit-oriented development to the region. City staff cited violations to the code in the project.
The council approval means staff and the developer will be required to work together on a development agreement, addressing some unique circumstances generated by a plot of land described as being geometrically challenged.
Haws and officials from his company insist the special code for the project area needs to include flexibility for odd property sizes, caused by the presence of a gas pipeline in the region. He also said providing a plan with boxes drawn in where proposed things will go doesn't always work out as outlined on paper.
What is on paper is a McDonald's and a commercial layout that includes a tower and plaza.
Developers have worked closely with McDonald's to find an acceptable layout for the fast food giant as a key component of the project. A number of proposals have been rejected. The biggest issue with the company appears to be a workable drive-through.
"As staff, we're not against this development. We're looking at the intent when form-based code was written," Alexander said. "Staff went back and looked through the general plan. The general plan says it (the development) needs to promote the community, for the short term and long term. It needs to be looked at as world class. I know they can't be Station Park, but we expect more than a suburban site plan."
Councilman Jim Young lauded the developer for its proposal on what he called an imperfect piece of land.