Planning Board Not Lovin’ McDonald’s Renovation

A shadow of doubt is being cast upon New Paltz’s McDonald’s. 

According to Hudson Valley One, Alan Roscoe, the project engineer for the planned McDonald’s remodeling, gave the New Paltz Planning Board more variations of the new construction on April 8 after being approved by the Zoning Board, despite the concerns of some Planning Board members who did not think the redesigns would suit the feel and architecture of the town.

Planning Board member Amy Cohen was noted telling Roscoe to “come back with something that’s just going to blend in,” reflecting the common sentiment of other Board members who disagreed about Roscoe’s offered design suggestions and how they didn’t look like they could fit into New Paltz’s architectural design aesthetic. 

Kurt Sunderland, the architect for the Planning Board, told the rest of the Board and Roscoe to consider the historical context of the town, and to think about a specific and significant time period and focus on modern architecture that simulates that historical feel. Other design suggestions from various Board members included a stone façade and a “colonial white color.” Roscoe responded, claiming the project was $1 million and that some of the proposed ideas were only possible if the building was torn down and replaced with a brand new one.

Though the town planning board has the authority to approve or deny new construction plans, the owners of the McDonald’s location have the final say in the remodel.

“[The business owners] have to comply with the property maintenance code in New York State to keep the building maintained, but there’s nothing in the local statute that requires them to remodel the building,” said Stacy Delarede, the building and fire inspector for the Town of New Paltz.

Despite the McDonald’s being situated on the popular Main Street, Delarede maintains that there shouldn’t be any issues with a reconstruction, including potential traffic jams caused by the movement of construction equipment.

The Planning Board’s suggestions for a more relevant design have been met with criticism from comments on Hudson Valley One’s website, with remarks such as, “This is a ridiculous out of touch “New Paltzian” mindset!” and, “It’s McDonald’s! Give me a break, New Paltz.” 

“I do believe that McDonald’s has made a new submission to the planning board for their next meeting and it’s really up to the board whether or not they get the information they want,” Delarede said. “If the information they get is insufficient, [they will decide] whether or not they approve the plan.” 

Project engineer Alan Roscoe could not be reached for comment.

The next two Planning Board meetings are scheduled for Monday, May 13 and Thursday, May 30, both at 7 p.m. at the New Paltz Community Center.