McDonald’s Finally Gets Blessing From Historic Preservation Advisory Commission

REVIEWING PLAN – Members of the township Historic Preservation Advisory Commission review plans related to the proposed McDonald’s restaurant targeted for Rutgers Plaza.

It took a few go-’rounds, but the McDonald’s Corp. finally got the needed approval from the township Historic Preservation Advisory Commission July 18 for its new restaurant in Rutgers Plaza on Easton Avenue.

The sticking point was architectural drawings for the new structure that will take the place of the former Burger King. Commissioners refused to vote on the plan until the drawings reflected what Commissioners were told would be the materials used for elements of the structure, particularly the trash enclosure.

McDonald’s lawyer for this application, Dan Klein, was told at the June meeting what the Commissioners were looking for: for the design elements on the page matched what they were being told.

But, at least according to Commission chairman Andrew Burian, they didn’t get what they wanted, but it was close enough.

“I don’t think it’s worth belaboring this,” said Burian – who is an architect – after looking at new renderings presented by Klein. “It’s not drawn correctly, still, but I think it’s fine to move on.”

Burian was concerned that bricks represented on the drawing were not the bricks Klein said would be used in the construction.

“When I asked the engineers, they said they would have to hand-draw each brick,” Klein said.

“So, that’s what they need to do,” Burian said. “That’s a terrible excuse. When we specifically asked for something to be graphically represented, that’s what the expectation is.”

“It’s five minutes with (Computer-Aided Design software), said Vince Dominach, the Commission’s staff liaison.

“And if it was hand-drawn, it’s a 10-minute exercise for an architect,” Burian added.

Not wanting to have Klein back for a fourth hearing, Burian said he was willing to accept what was presented.

“I think the intent is clear enough that the gate has been revised per comments back and forth, you’re telling us what the modular size of the brick is, you corrected plan details, and at the end of the day it’s a trash enclosure,” he said.

“I’m more or less satisfied, but I’m really disappointed that we’re gone three rounds with a professional, and it’s not done correctly,” Burian said. “We shouldn’t be pulling teeth with a professional on such a simple detail.”

“I just don’t want to see it again, to be honest,” he said.

The fast-food company won Planning Board approval in November 2022 to raze the former Burger King building fronting Easton Avenue and replace it with a 4,400-square-foot restaurant featuring two drive-through lanes.

But that approval was contingent on several factors, including receiving the nod from the Historic Commission.

The Commission is empowered to pass judgment in the form of certificates of appropriateness for all construction or modification of structures that fall in the township’s historic areas or which are within 1,000 feet of the Delaware & Raritan Canal.

Your Thoughts


Please Support Independent Journalism In Franklin Township!

No other media outlet covering Franklin Township brings you the depth of information presented by the Franklin Reporter & Advocate. Period. We are the only truly independent media serving the Eight Villages.

But we can only do that with your support. Please consider a yearly subscription to our online news site; at $37 a year, it’s one of the best investments you can make in our community.

To subscribe, please click here.

Other News From The Eight Villages …