Controversial McDonald's passes planning board - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Controversial McDonald's passes planning board

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By David Kenney - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - New zoning guidelines have been approved by the Jackson Planning Board.  Those guidelines could clear the way for a new fast food restaurant in Northeast Jackson, but there is opposition, which was expressed during a town hall meeting Wednesday.

"We are entitled to some respect in this community and this neighborhood," said former Jackson mayer Kane Ditto.

During public comment, the city's planning board was presented all sides of the McDonald's controversy.  Those complaining against it and those willing to let the fast food giant build, but with restrictions.

"It is not compatible with what they're trying to do in a business, professional building-type atmosphere," said Katie Hester in opposition to the restaurant.

Savita Nair agreed.  "Already, Petit Bois homeowners have a problem getting onto Ridgewood Road.  You know that's the biggest problem.  I don't think this is going to help us," she said.

In the end, the board voted unanimously to approve a re-zoning permit allowing McDonald's to build at Lakeland Drive and Ridgewood Road with a drive thru. 

"Well I hope they get to know us, and as I told their representatives, we'd be happy to meet them and make them happy," said Jackson McDonald's owner Al Joyner.  "We want them to be welcomed in the community.  We want to be neighbors."

McDonald's representatives met with attorneys representing area residents who persuaded them to drop their sign height to 25 feet, close the restaurant by midnight, and use a khaki-colored design on the building.

"They say it was a misunderstanding, so I'm glad they're willing to go back to the design we saw originally.  The landscaping is nice," said Ditto.  "I think basically it's the height of the sign that was my main complaint."

Despite signs the golden arches aren't welcome, some are anxiously awaiting Mickie D's arrival.

"What I wanna do is when she (his wife) goes to sleep, I might go in there and get a hamburger," said Ken Nair.

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