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DELMAR: McDonald's design gets go-ahead

The Bethlehem Planning Board gave the green light for site-plan renovations at the Delmar McDonald's Restaurant on Delaware Avenue Tuesday, Aug. 21.

After months of negotiations between the board and McDonald's owner/operators Jim and Shari Fox, a plan was developed to have the new McDonald's fall in line with the planning board's comprehensive plan for the Delaware Avenue corridor.

In my opinion, I think this new deviation meets with what the board was asking us to consider, said attorney Victor A. Caponera Jr. on behalf of the Foxes.

Members of the planning board wanted new renovations to blend in with the character of the community to meet what is termed a "hamlet" concept of growth.

"One of the reasons this is important to us is because we are looking at McDonald's to help us establish the upgrades to Delaware Avenue," said planning board Chairman Parker Mathusa. "This shows the company is willing to work with us."

Mathusa said the new CVS drug store is another example of the look and character that new businesses should bring to Delaware Avenue.

"CVS has worked with us, and we thank McDonald's for helping us out," Mathusa said.

The board quickly approved the site-plan concept, and residents will get a chance to express their opinions at the Tuesday, Sept. 18, meeting of the board.

"I appreciate the changes," said board member Howard Engel. "This looks a lot better and takes away that boxy look."

Engels said both the board and the developers have made concessions. Caponera called the new look a "substantial modification" in the design.

"It was not easy getting this design to look like this with an international brand that wants the look they want," Caponera said.

Owner Jim Fox said design concessions were made to make the project happen.

"I think both parties quickly working together. We're able to put together a plan that makes everybody happy," said Fox.

The 132 Delaware Ave. McDonald's Restaurant will be 4,300 square feet in total with a more contemporary look than the existing structure.""

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