Proposed McDonald’s draws criticism from some community members
A review of the proposed McDonald’s site on Second Avenue and Stockton Boulevard by the Community Development Department for the city of Sacramento has found no evidence that the restaurant would significantly impact the environment.
However, some community members argue that the the environmental findings and the traffic study, reported in the Mitigated Negative Declarative released Aug. 1 does not tell the whole story about the health and traffic impact a McDonald’s would have on the Oak Park neighborhood.
“I understand that McDonald’s does provide healthy choices if you choose to go down that route. I don’t think we ought to tell people what they can and cannot eat,” said Sam Allen, co-chair of the Oak Park Neighborhood Land Use Committee. “It’s a personal choice, and so I am hands-off in that sense. But as far as the zoning and the land use, it isn’t compatible with an education health corridor.”
The site of the proposed McDonald’s is directly across the street from the Richard and Annette Cancer Survivor Park and the UC Davis Medical Center where a pediatric endocrinology clinic is located along with a fertility and dentistry clinic.
The area along Stockton Boulevard is also home to other fast food chain restaurants including Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, Burger King and Subway. There are also local restaurants in the area include Boon Boon Cafe, Luigi’s, Loving Hut, Louie’s and Stockton Grill and Burgers.
McDonald’s has proposed a double drive-thru restaurant for Second Avenue and Stockton Boulevard site. According to the California Development Department, the plan includes a 3,897 square-foot restaurant with approximately 90 fixed seats, 30 parking stalls and approximately 11,500 square feet of landscaping.
The project calls for the construction of approximately 80 linear feet of 6 feet high masonry block wall to separate the commercial zone from the residential zone.
The hours of the proposed McDonald’s would run from 5 a.m. – 11 p.m. Monday – Thursday. On Fridays – Sundays, the drive-thru hours would be extended until 1 a.m.
The McDonald’s is also expected to employ 25-30 people, according to the Mitigated Negative Declarative.
“This is what might divide some of the community. It will provide jobs for our high school kids. That’s a big thing that we want in Oak Park,” Allen said.
Dr. Charlene Hauser started the Healthy Development for Oak Park neighborhood group and has been leading the campaign against the proposed McDonald’s on Second Avenue and Stockton Boulevard.
“You can also imagine as a homeowner in the neighborhood that you would be worried about the value of your house plummeting if the view from your living room is suddenly a drive-thru fast-food restaurant,” said Hauser
, who owns a home along Second Avenue.
“Drive-thru’s in general are not good in a neighborhood like Oak Park because it is an under-served, low-income, ethnically diverse area that is subject to disparities when it comes to health (access). Fast foods just exacerbate the situation for the population of Oak Park,” Hauser said.
The Oak Park Neighborhood Association voted recently to oppose the building of a McDonald’s based strictly on land use issues. Allen has been enlisted to draft the letter of opposition for the project, based on land use criteria. He said it should be released by the end of the week.
The Neighborhood Association and the Land Use Committee put the plan through their land use matrix as a way of evaluating all land use projects that go through Oak Park. A score of 1 is the lowest a project can receive and 4 is the highest score.
The project score card takes into consideration transit orientation, appropriate traffic levels, pedestrian access and amenities, bicycle infrastructure, energy efficiency, water efficiency, potential for providing local jobs and health food production.
For the complete list of the project score card criteria, click here.
“That way there’s no willy-nilly – ‘Oh I like this, and no I don’t like this.’ We wanted a very objective way of looking at projects that were going to be proposed in Oak Park. We put this proposed McDonald’s through this matrix, and it scored a 1.2 out of a possible 4,” Allen said.
Allen said the subject of a possible McDonald’s is a topic of extreme debate in the Oak Park community. The City Planning Commission will take up the issue in September in the City Council chambers downtown.
Editorial Note: Corrections have been made to this story after it was published. The incorrect information has been struck out and the correct information has been added.