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McDonald’s on Leesburg Pike gets planning commission’s support for upgrades

A new drive-thru lane and addition is proposed at McDonald’s Leesburg Pike location (courtesy Fairfax County)

The McDonald’s in Bailey’s Crossroads is a step closer to making some big changes, thanks to the blessing of the Fairfax County Planning Commission.

The commission voted unanimously on May 17 to recommend approval of several upgrades to the site at 5603 Leesburg Pike, including the addition of a second drive-thru lane and a 1,300-square-foot expansion.

Mason District Planning Commissioner Daren Schumate said that, after multiple deferrals of the vote, McDonald’s sufficiently addressed issues flagged by the commission and staff at a March 15 public hearing.

Schumate said the fast food company agreed to green building requirements and additional landscaping in response to the county’s concerns. The company also shifted a handicap parking spot slightly to avoid a tree that was near the spot.

“With that, it looks to me they’ve done good job of addressing concerns,” Schumate said.

However, the company did not agree to add a sidewalk that would connect the site to another property, because they argued it was out of the scope of the project. Staff concurred with the applicant, which has committed to providing a 10-foot-wide trail along Leesburg Pike.

Moving forward with the expansion would require the demolition of an adjacent office building, according to the application. The building was built in 1960.

An additional lane and ordering station is proposed with a median separating the lanes. Customers would enter the drive-thru area along the northwestern corner of the building and circulate clockwise to reach the drive-thru. The exit point is at the northeastern corner of the restaurant, according to the application.

To accommodate the expanded drive-thru, the company plans to redesign the parking lot. Existing parking spots on the eastern property boundary along the northern building facade would be removed to make space for a new sidewalk along Carlin Springs Road. The trash collection area would also be relocated further west of the parcel.

The applicant is seeking a 16% reduction in the number of parking spots required. Instead of 56 spaces, the applicant intends to provide 47 spaces.

The company also plans to install fully transparent windows, along with an outdoor seating area with chairs and tables at the front entrance of the building.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the application tomorrow (Tuesday) to determine whether it’s ultimately approved.

The site that currently hosts the Bailey’s Crossroads McDonald’s was originally home to the very first Roy Rogers. McDonald’s also recently moved to refresh its restaurant at 6729 Arlington Blvd, which is its oldest franchise in Fairfax County.