New Paltz planners question whether McDonald’s play space is out of character for the area

A proposed renovation of McDonald’s in New Paltz opens the door to addressing issues with that business by members of the Town of New Paltz Planning Board, including the brightly-colored play area considered out of character for the area, and the lack of wheelchair ramps along the sidewalk.

Corporate engineer Alan Roscoe laid out a plan that will include many accessibility improvements inside the restaurant, upgrades to the kitchen and a reconfiguration of the outside because “drive-throughs are the driver of the business,” even in a community where zero waste and climate-smart certifications are valued.

The outside would be redone in a more neutral palette, but the initial proposal would leave the red-and-yellow play area awning intact. Roscoe heard that it’s “distracting” and board members would like to see it go. It was also suggested that the windows in the front be tinted to further reduce that distraction.


Sidewalks in front of the store also were not slated to be changed, but Roscoe learned that this is perhaps the only point on that side of Route 299 which is impassable to anyone in a wheelchair.

Before this application comes before the Planning Board, an area variance is being sought for the signs, which are already larger than the current code allows, and on the plans would be larger still. A variance might also be needed in the parking lot, as town code now requires double stripes between spaces, and that would make it impossible to meet parking requirements.

There are 11 comments

  1. Ronald McDonald

    The biggest problem with McDonalds are the 18-wheeler delivery trucks that drive in the entrance, and then backs up to delivery door, which is just before the drive-thru pick up window. McDonalds puts a step ladder in the drive thru lane with a sign saying “Drive thru closed”, and it stays there until the unloading from the delivery truck is completed. In the interim, the Exit is closed, so customers turn around and try exiting the parking lot not at the Exit, but at the Entrance, creating near head on collisions with drivers coming in the Entrance. This happens every week twice a week. Of course, the head of the planning board is a town-employee as well, so the planning board chair is serving two masters, kinda like a double-cheesburger without the cheese.

  2. B. King

    McDonalds is assessed at $590,400 and pays town, county and school taxes based on that figure.

    Hey Torres, wake up! You’re the liason to the Board of Assessment Review and the Planning Board and then go out and beg the state of New York taxpayers for $89,000 to fix the privatized public playground? To state the obvious, $590,400 assessment for a fast-food franchise is outrageously low.

    You want that with fries.

  3. J. Browne

    If they get rid of the play area, then where else will stoned kids find a spring loaded Grimace to entertain themselves on a Saturday night? #DontKillGrimace

  4. why stop there?

    Crush those corporate lackeys while you can. Stop the selling of fried beef, sugary drinks, oily potatoes and everything else this town is against. How dare they have a brightly colored play area! The nerve of them. Make them paint everything black and brown and make those kids wear camouflage jumpsuits if they want to play in there so we don’t have to see them.

  5. Rod

    Black and brown? Is this some sort of racist dog whistle? Beige is the best color, because it isn’t too stimulating. No, wait… that’s almost as bad as white. Maybe yellow? No, McDonald’s has ignored the Asian community in their advertising, and that could be seen to be pandering. Well, whatever color is chosen, it should be something everyone can agree on… that can’t be too hard.

  6. Mark Hoffstatter

    Apparently, there is a different group assessing different ends of New Paltz.
    While I totally applaud the new “Black Box Theater”, its blank concrete façade is so
    out of sync with New Paltz history and supposed character, it amazed me that it was OK’ed like that at all.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth

      Yes, the Village has been around since 1886, it has the Black Box Cement Theatre. That was the Village Planning Board.

      McDonalds is in the Town. The Town Planning Board is chaired by a Town employee from the Board of Assessment Review.

      The Village is a voluntary municipal corporation, the Town is an involuntary municipal corporation, a territory of the county.

      You ought to go to all their meetings for a month or so. I’ll sec on that motion.

    2. Swings

      Weren’t you here when the Town and Village threw up a fence around the public playground at Morello Park and Pool. Now, the playground can only be used by those paying entrance to the pool. The rest of the year, the playground is closed to all. It’s called “The Green Box Theatre.” That was Village and Town together. Why should you be amazed now, 10 years after the fact?

  7. Sylvia Lynn Zuniga Ostrander

    Why are colors such an enemy to the eyes of some? Kids are attracted to colors because it’s a happy feeling that you get when you see them , are around them , even for the adult kids … they want to darken the windows there so you can not see the kids playground … it’s dangerous , what if a child sexual abuser is in there and no one can see Him , because everything is hidden because of colors . It’s upsetting to know … that colors are so unwelcome in an artsy village full of wonder and creative types. Funky and adventurous, I love ❤️ taking my non local friends to go Villaging I call it , and walk and talk to everyone that’s out for the day or night , that is willing to do so , which is most of the time . I love you New Paltz since i was 12 years old.

  8. Rick

    Yes! We MUST crush the capitalist dogs to please the tree hugging communists among us!!

    What a bunch of jerks the New Paltz Board of ridiculous onerous regulations is!

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