WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - A proposed McDonald's drive-thru restaurant on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in Wesley Chapel has a nearby neighborhood ready to challenge the permitting process.
"None of the other McDonald's that are in this area are that close to a home. I mean, you can see where the white fence is, that's somebody's back yard," said Thomas Barthmus, pointing to a fence about 40 feet from the edge of the grassy lot.
Barthmus says he supports free enterprise and doesn't have a problem with the golden arches of McDonald's.
"This is really nothing against the enterprise side of this McDonald's project. What it is, is it's against the location of it that they're selecting for this restaurant ," explained Barthmus.
McDonald's, who did not return calls seeking comment, wants to build a drive-thru restaurant on the empty parcel between two banks on Bruce B. Downs Blvd., just south of SR 56 in Wesley Chapel.
Residents in the nearby Lakes of Northwood development feel it's a little too close to their homes.
For eight years, David Leon has lived in the house that now sits directly behind the proposed McDonald's.
"No way, can't have a McDonald's behind my house. Trash, the smell of food 24/7. And it's just going to bring people that we don't want into the neighborhood," said Leon.
Traffic entering and exiting the McDonald's would have to navigate an already crowded business development. Residents fear their one road in and out of their neighborhood will become overly congested.
They've now turned to the online site nextdoor.com to unify their efforts to stop Pasco County from permitting the project.
"It really has been the tool that has allowed us to contact everybody in the neighborhood," said Barthmus.
The Pasco County Zoning and Site Development Department is in the review process stage and has not yet approved the project.