MASSENA — A restaurant that closed its doors in Massena several years ago is returning to the village.
KFC will be moving into the spot formerly held by Domino’s Pizza, which closed several locations, including in Massena, last July.
The franchise shared space in Mountain Mart convenience stores owned by Malone-based Adirondack Energy. The Massena Mountain Mart also houses a Dunkin’ Donuts and a Subway.
The Massena KFC had formerly occupied the building that now houses Tim Horton’s. It was later combined with a Long John Silver’s.
A new drive-through for KFC at its new location was among the agenda items for site plan review when the St. Lawrence County Planning Board met Thursday night.
“What they’re proposing is basically just a change of signage and a change of proprietor. They’re not changing too much more than that except for the drive-through. They are going to add an additional drive-through lane,” Deputy Director Jason Pfotenhauer said.
One drive-through lane currently exists for Dunkin’ Donuts.
“With the addition of KFC, they’re going to add a second drive-through that will be closer to the building. It will follow the existing Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through, then they’ll add a new drive-through lane for Dunkin’ Donuts,” Mr. Pfotenhauer said.
He said his concerns included the possibility of congestion in that area, as well as parking in the back.
“They’re going to drop six parking spaces here,” he said, pointing out the location on a diagram of the area. “However, this one still looks a little bit too close. They want to be careful they don’t have a collision when they’re backing out toward the drive-through lane. I think we need to acknowledge that and mitigate it if possible.”
He said the footprint of the building would remain the same except for one small modification — the addition of freezer space in what is currently an open space.
“I think we can fit that extra drive-through lane in as long as we’re cognizant of the parking in the back and how to make it compatible,” Mr. Pfotenhauer said.
He recommended that the site plan be returned to the Massena Planning Board for local action with some recommendations, including placing signage stating that the exit lane from the KFC drive-through must remain clear. Directional signage should also be placed to improve site circulation, and parking behind the building should only be striped when 24 feet of backup space was available.
After discussion, the board added two other comments — to ensure that the dumpsters were still accessible, and that delivery capacity was not compromised.
The Planning Board also discussed a request from Tim Horton’s to address congestion in their current drive-through configuration.
“It’s very straightforward. This is actually a project the county Planning Board looked at in 2013,” Planner II Matilda Larson said.
“The application indicates that they’ve had such great success with their drive-through service that the queuing lane has actually affected traffic. They’re looking to resolve that situation by expanding the drive-through service,” she said.
The parking lot would remain the same, and there would be no external changes to the structure of the facility. But a 22-foot-wide drive-through aisle would be added in the northern section.
“They are looking to expand the space that’s needed for the vehicles that come through for the morning service,” Ms. Larson said.
Her only concern was that four different parcels would be affected by the proposal, and she recommended that those be combined into one.
“You always want to maintain a site plan on a single parcel,” she said.
The plan received conditional approval by the board with that stipulation.