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McDonald’s scouts 3rd location on North Whidbey

By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News-Times Co-editor
May 21, 2013 · Updated 9:36 AM
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The greater Oak Harbor community may soon have three McDonald’s restaurants.

An architect and a construction manager for McDonald’s Corp. submitted a pre-application to the city of Oak Harbor earlier this year proposing to build a 4,386-square-foot restaurant on the site of a former Ford dealership.

The 2.5-acre property is at the corner of Barrington Drive and State Highway 20. It has been empty since the dealership building was demolished in 2011.

Whidbey Island Ford closed its doors in 2008.

Oak Harbor, home to approximately 20,000 people, currently has a McDonald’s on Highway 20, just north of the proposed new location. There’s another McDonald’s a few miles away on Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Patronage of that location is limited to those with base access.

Doug Bates, area construction manager for McDonald’s, said he couldn’t discuss the fast-food giant’s plans since they are in preliminary stages.

Bates did say he believes the current restaurants will remain if a new one is built, though he added that he doesn’t make those decisions.

Rumors have swirled around the big, empty spot in the middle of Oak Harbor for years.

Recent speculation was focused on the possibility of an Olive Garden or a seafood restaurant.

The pre-application documents state that the former dealership property is owned by David and Sharon Berg of Mount Vernon. It is zoned C-3 commercial and has a market value of $1.2 million.

The architect proposes side-by-side drive-throughs facing the highway and 53 parking stalls.

In response, city planners noted the possibility of archaeological artifacts at the site.

The company would be required to conduct a traffic study to gauge the impact in the area.

Planners wrote that a drive-through would require a conditional-use permit from the hearing examiner.

In addition, the proposed drive-through configuration doesn’t jive with the city’s design regulations and guidelines, the planners concluded.

 


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