FALMOUTH, Maine — The number of restaurants in town is growing, with plans to open another McDonald’s and the recent opening of Bueno Loco.
According to Ethan Croce, senior town planner, developer Joe Cooper appeared before the Planning Board on Feb. 5 for a pre-application sketch plan review for a McDonald’s at 60 Gray Road in West Falmouth.
“[The sketch plan review] is an opportunity for the developer to introduce to project to the Planning Board in an informal setting and to get the Planning Board’s first-blush reaction to the overall development proposal,” Croce said. “The benefit of that is it allows the developer to get some up-front feedback before they spend a lot of money on design and engineering for the project.”
Croce said he is not 100 percent sure what Cooper is going to do next, because there is a hurdle to clear before the board will move forward with the proposal.
“McDonald’s has a strong interest in having a new right turn-in provided off of Route 100 to provide direct access to their property, and from what the developer has said that is incredibly important,” he said. “It requires a waiver from the town’s ordinance because the town’s design standards have a minimum separation between curb cuts of 200 feet, and this new proposed curb cut is under that.”
Before Cooper can move forward with developing the property near Maine Turnpike Exit 53, the Planning Board must ensure that adding the new curb cut is due to the “special circumstances of the site,” Croce said. It has asked the town’s traffic engineer to work with Cooper to provide additional information about how the change would affect traffic flow in the area.
Croce said there will likely be a second meeting between Cooper and the Planning Board to go over changes to the proposal.
Cooper could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, on the east side of town, the owner of Bueno Loco, which took over the old Stonyfield Cafe location at 240 U.S. Route 1, said the Mexican/Mayan restaurant has had — just as its name suggests — a crazy good reception after opening on Feb. 5.
“It has been fantastic,” owner Sharon Starks said. “It has been really, really busy and very well received.”
Starks said customers have come from all over the state, but the reaction from local residents has been the best.
“The people in Falmouth and Cumberland are very, very excited about [the restaurant],” she said. “I’ve gotten very positive feedback and they love having another healthy option in Falmouth. They like the fact that the food is fresh and they can see it being made in the kitchen.”