Representatives for McDonald’s have withdrawn their application for a restaurant at 2500 Gross Point Rd. in Evanston, according to a city spokesperson.
The fast food chain was applying for a special use permit to build a McDonald’s at the intersection of Gross Point Road and Harrison Street, and was scheduled for a hearing with the city’s zoning board of appeals on Monday.
Before representatives withdrew their application, the proposed restaurant came under fire from neighbors as well as Ald. Mark Tendam, who oversees the sixth ward where the McDonald’s would have been located.
At a meeting of the site plan appearance and review committee in August, Tendam said he believed the McDonald’s might cause traffic problems and gas fumes for neighbors during peak traffic hours, especially after Northwestern University games. He also said the nearest McDonald’s was only two to three miles away.
Two neighbors also spoke up at the meeting, saying there were few supporters among those who lived nearby. Ray Pershing, who has lived in the sixth ward for 30 years, said he was worried about light pollution, while another neighbor said he would never have bought his home just a few doors down if he knew a fast food restaurant would be moving in.
When Patch polled readers on the subject in July, Evanston residents who voted were fairly evenly divided between those who opposed the proposed McDonald’s and those who felt it would be an asset to the community.
“This would be hideous. A terrible eyesore that would also cause a lot of traffic day and night,” said commenter “E.” “Not to mention the rough element that these places can bring in – someone was shot at the McDonald’s on Dempster just this past year.”
Commenter “Marci,” however, said she would like to see more chain restaurants in the area, since she knows what ingredients are on the menu and can choose a meal safely for her daughter, who has food allergies.
“I think a McDonalds in that area would serve a lot of people working in the area who want a fast lunch,” she wrote. “McDonalds isn't the healthiest option, but when the sandwiches at FoodStuffs are like $9, it would be a convenient and affordable option.”
Several readers said they believed McDonald’s was a poor choice nutritionally, while others said it should be up to each individual to decide what they ate.
A representative of McDonald’s could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.