Chris Kuntz is a Westford resident
EDITOR’S NOTE: Members of Westford’s Zoning Board of Appeals will decide tonight (July 21) beginning at 7 p.m. in Room 201 at Town Hall. whether McDonald’s restaurant will get the town’s first drive-through window for customers who are picking up prepared food.
Apparently, McDonald’s wasn’t satisfied that Westford residents voted down drive-through restaurants at Town Meeting for the fifth time. McDonald’s is now seeking variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals that would allow the “fast food industry giant” to open Westford’s first drive-through restaurant, circumventing Westford’s Zoning Bylaws, Master Plan and the will of the voters.
If granted, such variances will give unfair competitive advantage to a single restaurant over the other 45 restaurants in town – many of whom built their businesses based on Westford’s prohibition against drive-through restaurants, and have no way or resources to do the same thing.
With close proximity to Route 495, McDonald’s seeks to attract significant traffic running north and south along the interstate highway. With new extended hours of operation, this will bring increased traffic congestion, crowding, noise, pollution, and litter.
Unfortunately, this could set a precedent, extending an open invitation to other fast food chains to seek similar variances, attracting them like a magnet (“Hey, it’s now open season in Westford for drive-throughs!”). This will lead to an irreversible trend, ultimately changing the character of the town, forever.