The proposal to build a McDonald's at the corner of Shiawassee Avenue and West Market Street was tabled by the Fairlawn Planning Commission Thursday night.
McDonald's representatives presented their plan for a 4,500-square foot restaurant to the commission and explained that drive-thru would account for 70 percent of the customer base.
Representative Gust Mecera promised non-invasive LED lighting, volume-controlled speakers and minimal trash on the property.
"The building has a contemporary look," Mecera said. "It's a quality building that uses stone, metal and brick. We don't use any giant signs."
Getting in and out of the proposed McDonald's from West Market Street would be a right-in and right-out only. Customers could also enter and exit using Shiawasee.
But those promises didn't satisfy the concerns of the standing-room only crowd. Fifteen residents, of the between 50 to 60 in the room, talked about traffic concerns, trash on the side streets, safety of area children and the people a McDonald's attracts.
"I chose to live on Abington Road because I thought it would be a nice place to raise children," said resident Stephani Itibrout. "I'm concerned about the 20-plus children that I know of who ride bikes and walk in the area if 70 percent of the traffic is drive-thru."
One resident questioned the restaurant's hours of operation, but none of the McDonald's representatives could answer.
Laurie Gamauf, who also lives on Abington Road, is concerned about the amount of traffic. She was also concerned about the effect a McDonald's would have on the area's property values.
"People use Abington Road is a cut-through as it is," Gamauf said. "Turning left onto Shiawassee from Abington will be a nightmare. And God help you if you want to turn into Rockne's or the bank."
Abington Road resident Harry Tipping is also concerned with traffic congestion and asked that a traffic study be completed. He's also concerned about the effect a McDonald's will have on the other restaurants in the area.
Several people said they were against putting more fast food in the area, and asked that a small coffee or donut shop be built instead.
The vacant land sits in Susan Sullivan's Ward 5 and she is opposed to the building as well.
"There are 21,000 cars that travel by that property on West Market each day," Sullivan said and pulled out a stack of police reports from the Montrose McDonald's. "Problems exist and we don't need this. It's a vacant lot and we'll take care of it, but we can't just give this lot away and destroy a neighborhood in the process."
Mayor William Roth said he received concerns from residents about the land being contaminated because of the dry cleaner next door. However, Cavalier doesn't do any dry cleaning on the property, so there are no chemicals in the soil.
"We've had Duncan Donuts and Waffle House look at this site before and walk away," Roth said. "It's a difficult site. A traffic study would be very expensive."
After hearing concerns and not having answers to several of the residents' questions, McDonald's representatives asked to table the proposal, meaning it won't be voted on until December, if McDonald's comes back with changes and answers by then.
The crowd was not happy with the decision and demanded a vote, but the commission decided to table.
McDonald's has asked for several variances on the property, including setback and acreage, and those will go before the Board of Zoning and Appeals at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in council chambers.
The next Planning Commission meeting is at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 13.