Expansion of the Boyne City McDonald’s and a potential new dog kennel topped the agenda for the Boyne City Planning Commission last week.
McDonald’s representative Dave Evans presented their reconstruction plan at the May 19 Boyne City Planning Commission meeting, and Barbra Green showed sketches to potentially go foreword with a dog kennel in the city’s Air Industrial Park.
“The original intention was to do a two-phase project … do the side-by-side drive thru, get it running and two years later complete the building expansion,” said Dave Evans, lead architectural project designer with WD Partners, who spoke on McDonald’s behalf at the Monday meeting. “The timetable has moved up. The owner/operator has decided to just go ahead and do it.”
He added “Right now our schedule is to complete the drive-thru in August or September of this year and then the building expansion in February—also depending on the winter of next year.”
Evans described what McDonald’s wants to add to the previous proposal for 2016, which includes: putting in a third drive-thru, adding an exterior seating area, re-branding it with new signage and repainting the building,
“We’re going to expand the customer seating first of all; we’re going to expand the restrooms—they’re gonna be multiple users instead of the single users they are now,” said Evans. “We’re going to widen the kitchen and expand the storage area. We’re going to add approximately 20 seats—it depends on what we will be able to manage and that will be the impact on the occupant load on the building.”
He added, “Exterior re-branding of the building must be in-line with the national standards of McDonald’s. This is a national push, every McDonald’s in the country is going to be re-branded to look like what you see before you.”
Commissioner Jason Biskner questioned if there would be any additional lighting—this being a collective concern between commissioners—that the current floodlights which light the sign create a distraction to drivers.
Evans confirmed that there would be no additional lighting poles, and the current poles would not change. McDonald’s plans to add sconces over the doors and on the front and side, which will be lit by LED strips.
Boyne City Planning Commissioner Tom Neidhamer inquired if there would be designated spaces for garbage containers in the exterior seating area.
Evans reassured him that there is at least one trash receptacle in the area and that they would locate it in such a place that it would not interfere with circulation.
Boyne City Planning Director Scott McPherson said, “The plan was submitted to our department of public works and police department—none of them had any concerns with the proposal.”
The commissioners approved the McDonald’s plan with a vote of 6-0; Joe St. Dennis, James Kozlowski, and George Ellwanger were absent.
Dog kennel proposal
Barbra Green spoke to the commissioners about her proposal to start a dog kennel business and explained she was looking at an area in Boyne City’s Air Industrial Park as an ideal starting point.
“We’re looking at proposing a kennel in the industrial park and it has a lot to do with all the things Boyne City offers. It doesn’t offer any kennel services,” Green said. “If you Google ‘kennels’ in Boyne City, the nearest one is eight miles away. I think for all of the things that are available here, this would be a terrific addition.”
Green explained her plans included using the area as a long-term and short-term kenneling business, with possible additions of grooming and training services.
McPherson said he discussed the pros and cons of operating a kennel business in an industrial park with people who have tried the same in other areas of the state.
“It’s not an uncommon thing to have kennels in industrial parks,” he said.
Green said her potential business could employ as many as 10 to 15 people, with 40 kennels initially.
“The people that we employ we will actually train,” Green said.
“Just because you love dogs doesn’t mean you can work with dogs. So we’ll have a training program in terms of daycare. We’re giving someone a lifelong skill they can pretty much take anywhere and use.”
Commissioners gave Green advice on what to include in her official proposal and guidelines to be thinking of.
Neidhamer mentioned that the city’s ordinance does not cite kennel businesses as a use but added that it also does not prohibit kennels in the area.
“Barbra’s next steps would be to submit a formal application,” McPherson said. “That would be a conditional consideration as (the commissioners) would have to give it a blessing. Then you’d have to do the safety approval, and EDC would also give it a blessing. It’d be a public hearing, and as soon as she gets the paperwork into me we would put that on there and schedule it.”
Green is expected to present her full proposal at the next planning commission meeting.
During the meeting, planning commissioners voted to reappoint members: Chris Jason, Jane Mackenzie, Jason Biskner, Jim Kozlowski, and Scott McPherson—by a unanimous vote from all present.