McDonald's ground breaking planned for Buckwalter Parkway in April

achristnovich@islandpacket.comFebruary 22, 2012 

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Pending minor tweaks to lighting and parking, developers plan to break ground for a new McDonald's on Buckwalter Parkway in April.

The new restaurant will share a parking lot with an Exxon Mobile gas station under construction on the southwest corner of Buckwalter Parkway and Progressive Street.

McDonald's area construction manager Demetria Peterson said the new location will be a taller, more open model than the restaurant off U.S. 278 near Moss Creek in greater Bluffton.

While regulations require 44 parking spaces, the McDonald's developers requested only 28. Peterson said the entire Buckwalter development has a shared parking agreement so extra parking isn't necessary for smooth traffic flow.

Matt Green, who sits on a governing board for the Buckwalter Master Plan, said the corporation is willing to cede a proposed 25-foot tall sign to share a shorter one with Exxon Mobile.

"Lit up golden arches aren't allowed for this project," he said.

The Bluffton Planning Commission voiced few concerns about the plan during Wednesday's meeting.

Commission member Dan Keefer made a motion to approve its construction, pending the lighting and parking changes. It passed on a 5-0 vote with Carmen Washington absent and Josh Tiller abstaining because he sits on the Buckwalter Master Plan governing board.

Before construction begins, the McDonald's plan must be approved by the town's Development Review Commission.

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