McDonald’s granted state DEP permit

By Gail Geraghty
Staff Writer

Construction of a McDonald’s Restaurant can begin as soon as the ground is dry enough, now that developer Mark Lopez has won state permitting approval to fill wetlands on the Portland Road site.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued Lopez a land use permit on April 15 for the project, located diagonally across from Hannaford’s supermarket next to the entrance to Hancock Lumber. To offset the loss of wetlands, the permit will require Lopez to make a $30,000 contribution to the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Fund and protect an 8.35-acre parcel of land with a streambed, near Sandy Creek.

In addition, Lopez will be required to pay $4,975 to the state’s Lake Stormwater Compensation Fee Program to compensate for the excess phosphorus export of .199 pounds per year. Lopez will submit the fee to the Lakes Environmental Association prior to the start of construction.

The McDonald’s restaurant and adjoining retail space will consist of a 4,420-square-foot building, 35-vehicle parking lot, drive-through lanes and a one-way right-turn access road for northbound Route 302 traffic. It will be built on a sloped hillside that receives flow from a short section of stream, which begins at an off-site culvert on the abutting property to the east.

Because Lopez purchased the property as a split-off from the Hancock Lumber development, the DEP under its rules must consider the previous construction on the retail lumber site, which required filling of 10,127 square feet of wetlands. The McDonald’s project will require the filling of another 19,668 square feet of wetlands, resulting in a cumulative total of 29,795 square feet of wetland impact.

The DEP made Lopez demonstrate that no practical alternative site existed along the corridor where the disruption to wetlands would be less. Officials visited three alternative sites, and McDonald’s Corporation gave written testimony arguing that the site across from Hannaford’s was, from a commercial perspective, best suited to their requirements for traffic, being located at a signalized intersection.

“The alternative sites were found to be less suitable to meet the needs of the applicant and the siting criteria of the restaurant tenant,” the permit states.

The project will be built on 1.74 acres of land and include nearly an acre of impervious development. Lopez will handle stormwater through construction of a subsurface wastewater disposal system and a vegetated underdrained filter basin. The DEP recommended lining the vegetated soil filter bed with an impermeable layer to prevent direct infiltration of untreated stormwater runoff into the underlying aquifer. Lopez revised the filter bed design to include a six-inch layer of bentonite, covered with six inches of sand, so that the water will exit only through the discharge piping.

Please follow and like us: