2022 Raymond Planning Board Meetings

Raymond Planning Board Approves McDonald's Improvements and Have Three Open Seats in March
By Penny Williams   1-8-22

The Raymond Planning Board met on Thursday, January 6, and approved the single site plan application before them.

Bill Lucas, Bohler Inc., presented the site plan on behalf of McDonald's USA, LLC. The site plan proposed upgrades to the drive-thru features and minor improvements to the site, interior and exterior in compliance with ADA requirements and the company's new Branding model. McDonald's is located at 2 Essex Drive.

The major change will be to reconfigure the lane around the building in the area where orders are taken.  The present single lane will be improved by adding a second ordering lane.

Parking spaces will be adjusted to allow this change with a long space provided for potential bus parking and a long space for product delivery trucks with sufficient space left between these and the ordering lanes for cars to pass, still in a one way circling the building.

To accomplish the above, the number of parking spaces at the location were diminished by 16 leaving 53 parking stalls which meet the requirements for the seating.

The main discussion was centered on the new two lanes for ordering instead of the single lane presently in place. This two lane ordering model is in use at many neighboring McDonald's.

Board member Gretchen Gott was concerned that the new configuration would create issues particularly when product distribution trucks were there and when garbage pickup trucks were there.

After a lengthy discussion a compromise was suggested. Chair Brad Reed suggested marking a crosswalk from the store door across the driveway to where the distribution truck should be parked. This would address the safety issue of product being hauled across the driveway.

Lucas agreed this made sense from a safety perspective and said he would have to get permission to add this from corporate. He was told if the board approved the plan and corporate then denied the crosswalk the site plan would have to be started all over again at ground zero. He indicated he wished to move forward and felt he would get corporate permission for the crosswalk stripping.

The board then approved the site plan application with all the usual conditions. In addition, there were two waivers the board had approved, both dealing with the pavement calculus for replacement. The McDonald's pavement requirement calculations exceed the Raymond requirements. So it was added that approving these waivers was not precedent setting.  In addition there were a couple Technical Review Committee requests and the crosswalk stripping were specific to this site plan..

The board noted that there would be no discussion of Warrant Articles at this meeting but they would be addressed at the meeting scheduled for January 20.  A citizens petition would also be reviewed at that time.

The board then discussed how minutes are taken and whether they wanted to have verbatim minutes. The issue arose as there have been some mistakes made that have made the work of the board difficult and when minutes were compared to the
cable recording there were differences found. However, video coverage cannot be used as minutes. There must be paper minutes provided.

After a lengthy discussion it was decided to continue the use of the current electronic transcription system for recording minutes,.

The board discussed needing to elect two members for 3 year terms and one member for a 1 year term given John Beavilliers recent resignation that the board belatedly approved.

The board also discussed the difficulty a resident has with trying to find specific information in town records regarding actions taken with respect to a specific property. While it was acknowledged that there are files on property actions it still isn't easy to access the material and the board is concerned about this issue.            



NH RSA 675:3 gives the Planning Board the authority to submit an ordinance or zoning amendment to the voters.

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