MANCHESTER – When the drive-up window at McDonald’s gets busy, traffic can stack up in the fast-food restaurant’s parking lot – in some cases extending into Depot Street.

The company proposed a fix to that situation – a second drive-up ordering lane and other improvements to move burgers and fries faster out the window – and move cars through line more efficiently, on Wednesday before the Development Review Board.

Appearing on behalf of McDonald’s USA, Steven Wilson of Albany NY-based Bohler Engineering laid out plans that also include the installation of a new payment-only window on the east side of the building. At present, the restaurant has one drive-thru window, where staff process payment and deliver food and drinks.

Wilson told the board the company has found that ordering is the slowest part of the drive-up process. Adding a second drive-up ordering lane would “greatly improve efficiency and cut down some of the stacking currently occurring on the site,” he said.

Board Chairman Tim Waker asked if adding a window was going to speed efficiency inside the restaurant. He said that even with another order station, the line won’t move faster unless the rest of the operation keeps up with demand.

“If this makes it work, they understand what we’re trying to do,” Waker said. “It’s in their best interest … they’ll sell more stuff if people get out faster.”

Board members discussed how often back-ups occur in the parking lot, with the consensus being weekday lunch hours and busy vacation days.

The company’s application also includes aesthetic improvements. The proposal includes painting the siding taupe, removing the McDonald’s sign in the window, and replacing the current roofing with dark-colored architectural shingles.

The board, which conducted a site visit earlier Wednesday, also asked about improving storm drainage in the parking lot. In the past year, after heavy rains, drainage has backed up, sending water out of the parking lot and into Depot Street.

“There’s standing water in them, which isn’t good,” Wilson said of the storm drains. “When the water goes down, we’ll have them vacuumed out.”

The board has 45 days to issue a decision.

The board also heard from Robert Short, who submitted a site and design plan review for office use by a property management firm at his 114 Elm St. property. The firm, Vacasa, manages short-term vacation rentals.

Board members focused on the placement and use of trash and recycling containers on the site, and the timing and frequency of pickup by Casella Waste Systems.

“It may not bother you, but it may bother other people on the street,” board member John Kennedy said.

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