Crestwood McDonald’s set for makeover

Erin Achenbach
Staff Reporter
eachenbach@callnewspapers.com

The Crestwood McDonald’s will be getting a makeover after the Board of Aldermen unanimously approved a plan last week for the fast-food restaurant to demolish and rebuild its current location at 9915 Watson Road, where it has been operating for 60 years.

The Crestwood McDonald’s is a historic one, since it was the first McDonald’s west of the Mississippi River, strategically located on historic Route 66.

The board approved an ordinance allowing owner Farnsworth Group to demolish the existing McDonald’s and rebuild, with changes to where on the property the building will sit and an alternative parking plan.

The new building will be approximately 72 feet closer to Watson Road, with updated architecture and landscaping, according to a memo from City Planner Adam Jones. The pickup lane will be approximately 100 feet closer to Watson Road, which would help with noise reduction for nearby residents.

“This is the third rebuild. It’s a great-looking building, it’s well-received all over the county, all over the state of Missouri,” said Farnsworth Group principal Bob Polk during a public hearing at the Jan. 22 meeting. “We’re happy to have this new building to come to Crestwood, and I ask for your approval tonight.”

Crestwood resident Cheryl Lauders, whose house is in the neighborhood behind the McDonald’s, voiced her concerns about the landscape variance.

“We have asked them as residents to do some things about the noise and the appearance of McDonald’s, and we seem to get resistance and be told that we should just be happy with what we’re offered,” said Lauders. “We’re just asking for the highest wall we can possibly get and trees or something, or some kind of shrubs other than the junk that is there currently to buffer the noise and the traffic from McDonald’s.”

The Farnsworth Group requested a variance to the city’s 50-foot landscape setback, requesting 25 feet instead.

The Board of Zoning Adjustment approved the variance at its meeting in September 2018, under the condition that McDonald’s construct an 8-foot masonry wall along any part of the property that touches residential property. Current zoning codes only require a 6-foot masonry wall. Evergreens would also be planted along property lines.

Polk said the turnaround time from the demolition of the McDonald’s to the opening of the new one would be 90 days.