HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A 10-year legal battle over a proposed McDonald’s on a vacant lot in Hartford is nearing a conclusion.
The city has reached a tentative agreement with a developer who had sought to build a fast-food restaurant on a small lot in the West End that had been opposed by neighborhood residents and the city, the Hartford Courant reported.
Under the tentative agreement, the city will pay developer Eliot Gersten $1.8 million to resolve litigation over the former gas station spot, which has been vacant for a decade. The settlement has to be approved by the city’s Court of Common Council, which is expected to take it up this month.
“This settlement resolves a dispute that has been going on for nearly a decade and ensures that this parcel on Farmington Avenue can be developed in a way that the community supports rather than a use that the community was overwhelmingly opposed to,” Mayor Luke Bronin said.
The dispute had been litigated in both state and federal court, and last year the state Supreme Court ruled the city was using its zoning authority to improperly to block the restaurant from being built.
Residents had opposed the restaurant, claiming its drive-through would increase litter and vehicle traffic in the area and lower property values. A Burger King with a drive-through already exists next to where the McDonald’s would have stood, and there is a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant across the street.
There is no current timetable for developing the site, but the city is expected to offer potential developers a package of incentives to build a mixed-use retail and apartment building, the Courant reported.
“Like all of our major commercial corridors that run through our neighborhoods, we want Farmington Avenue to be a walkable, connected, vibrant corridor with a good mix of residential and retail,” Bronin said.
Gersten declined to discuss the settlement, the newspaper reported.