City Council Delays Highland McDonald's Hearing

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In the case of McDonald’s developing a new location on the Highland Strip, members of the Memphis City Council said the fast-food company will have to compromise with neighbors in the University District in order for it to be built.

At the October 15th city council meeting, the company responsible for the project, SR Consulting, requested the hearing to be moved to December 17th. Cindy Reaves, the president of the firm, said an alternate plan needed to be developed.

David Wade, an attorney representative for university area residents, tried to convince the council to go forward with the hearing, rather than postpone.

“I’ve been shown the basic design changes that are being composed,” Wade said. “The design that is going to be recommended does not address the basic objection that all of these people in this university area have.”

The major concern of residents is the proposed loop-around drive-thru that does not comply with the University District Overlay, an official set of standards that regulates all construction in the area.

Council members Shea Flinn, Wanda Halbert, and Harold Collins voiced in favor of the delay.

Collins suggested giving McDonald’s the benefit of the doubt to come up with a new plan that satisfies the community, while Halbert expressed her disappointment and told the company to “seriously listen” to the University District residents.

Flinn was reminded of an earlier dispute with a corporate company.

“I’m gonna speak in favor of the delay for one simple reason — and it’s located on Union and Cooper,” Flinn said. “That’s the CVS that’s sitting there. At the time when we considered that, there was discussion about the delay. The opposition for [the delay] was very against [it], so instead of getting the best possible compromise, we ended up with something that I consider less good.”

The council passed the delay in a 9-4 vote, approving the hearing for December 17th.

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