Gahanna residents could be lovin' it at a new McDonald's, 298 S. Hamilton Road, by next summer.

Gahanna residents could be lovin' it at a new McDonald's, 298 S. Hamilton Road, by next summer.

The city's planning commission will meet with McDonald's officials at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, to tweak plans that include a variance to allow a parking setback of less than 36 feet from public right-of-way, conditional use for a side-by-side drive-thru, landscaping, signage and final development plans.

David Warren, project manager for McDonald's Ohio region, said the proposed new restaurant relocates its existing store that has been in the community for years.

The proposed McDonald's site is an outlot at Hunters Ridge Mall and is adjacent to Taco Bell and Marathon.

Warren said construction on the new restaurant would begin as weather permits, with a tentative opening in June.

He told the commission on Nov. 17 that the proposed McDonald's at the former KFC site on South Hamilton Road would allow the restaurant to offer better services with a double drive-thru configuration and a contemporary look that fits today's lifestyle.

Frank Shepherd, of Williams-Shepherd Architects, said the building will be predominantly a reddish brown brick, with dark brown as an accent brick to be used in the drive-thru area.

The front of the building will be covered in a cream-colored cultured stone, he said.

Stone features will also be located at the main entrance, which faces Hamilton Road, on the rear of the building that's visible from the interstate, and along the pick-up window.

"The landscaping adds a softer touch," Shepherd said. "The west side is what we consider the main entrance. With all the elements, I think it's broken up nice. I like the landscaping, personally, to compliment the rest of the building."

Commissioner David Thom expressed concern about the ingress and egress on the site plan, especially with the ingress on South Hamilton Road restricting fire apparatus.

He also noted a stacking problem at the existing McDonald's.

The McDonald's plans will further be discussed on Dec. 1 at Gahanna City Hall.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com