CHIPLEY — The Chipley City Council approved the plans to rebuild the McDonald’s Restaurant from the ground up during Tuesday’s meeting at City Hall.
The project development order was recommended for approval by the city planning commission on March 28.
The McDonald’s is located at 1291 Main Street and the rebuild will also allow for a redesign of the parking lot, which has had traffic issues.
McDonald’s USA LLC plans to demolish the existing fast food restaurant along with all parking facilities and storm water management facilities, then reconstruct a new restaurant as well as parking facilities and storm water management facilities.
“There will be a retention pond where the play area is now,” said Jason Toole, an engineer with CPH Engineers Inc. of Panama City, during the council workshop on April 4. “There will not be a play area at the new restaurant.”
City Administrator Dan Miner said the retention pond may help with flooding that occurs at the intersection.
Toole said the entrance from Main Street will be relocated south toward the Goodwill Industries parking lot. Construction on the project is expected to begin in June, Toole said, and should take 90 to 120 days to complete.
“I don’t know how much good moving the entrance 100 feet is going to do,” Mayor Linda Cain said, referring to traffic congestion at the intersection of Brickyard Road and Highway 77, which makes entry to the McDonald’s difficult during the daytime and early evening hours.
“Any little bit will help,” Miner said.
The council also approved an ordinance to allow residential occupancy of buildings in the downtown area. Currently, owners of buildings are allowed to live in their properties downtown, but they cannot rent out the upstairs areas for residency. With the new ordinance, owners will be able to rent out apartments in their buildings, as long as the apartments meet the city’s building codes.
The council held a public hearing prior to the second and final reading of the ordinance allowing apartments in the city’s historical commercial land use district, but no comments were made by the public objecting to the ordinance.