Hearing on Friendly’s project set

JOHNSTOWN – The city Planning Board on Tuesday set a public hearing for June 7 on a project by Friendly’s Restaurant on Route 30A to install a drive-thru lane for order pickups.

Patrick Mitchell, an engineer with Albany-based VHB Engineering, Surveying and Landscape Architecture, P.C., outlined the site plan for the project for the city Planning Board at City Hall.

“There’s not much going on except putting in a [pickup] window and a lane,” Mitchell said.

Friendly’s is expecting a “slight increase” in electrical demand, but will still rely on existing electrical service, engineers said.

John Sypek, Friendly’s restaurant development manager, said three drive-thrus were done prior to this year with “real good results.” He said the Johnstown Friendly’s drive-thru is one of 10 his company is handling this year, with 15 planned in 2017.

The project at 248 N. Comrie Ave. will be on .63-acres of land at the Johnstown Mall restaurant. The property owner is listed as M&G Equities of Wilbraham, Mass. Friendly’s Ice Cream LLC says only 0.02 acres of the parking lot will be disturbed. The project site will be within the city’s C-2 arterial commercial zoning district.

The proposed addition of the drive-thru window will require seven existing parking spaces on the east side of the site be removed for the drive-thru lane. A total of 33 parking spaces will remain, including four handicapped-accessible spaces. The hours of operation at Friendly’s will remain the same. There will be a maximum total of about 14 employees during the busiest shift and a total of 42 employees.

Mitchell said the drive-thru will have a menu board with lighting over it, but no major additional lighting is planned.

City Engineer Christopher Vose said the project has to go before the Fulton County Planning Board because of its proximity to a state highway – Route 30A. He said no state Environmental Quality Review is required.

A public hearing will be conducted at 4 p.m. June 7, at which time the project may be approved.

Vose told the Friendly’s representatives the firm must eventually secure building and signage permits.

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