BRIDGEWATER — Macado’s restaurant is one step closer to occupying the old Dixon Drugstore at the corner of South Main and West College streets after Bridgewater Town Council approved a special-use permit request during Tuesday’s meeting.

The request was approved unanimously. All Town Council members were present.

The request first came before Town Council in September, when Mark McConnell, with the restaurant chain Macado’s, asked for a special-use permit for property in the 100 block of South Main Street. A public hearing was held on the request, but no comments were received.

The permit would allow for more parking locations as it will have a more flexible approach to residential and restaurant parking in the area, as outlined in the town’s code.

There are currently 12 parking spaces behind the building, but McConnell said in September he is hoping to expand it to 21 spots.

Town Council did not take action on the request in September to allow town staff additional time to address if parking was available in the area.

“We spent a good portion of the month thinking about the business from the standpoint of parking,” Town Manager Jay Litten said.

According to Litten’s staff report for Tuesday’s meeting, staff compared the proposed parking for Macado’s with existing parking for the Cracked Pillar, and it was determined that Macado’s would likely have adequate parking, but not abundant.

“We see ‘abundant’ parking as a vice as much as a virtue, because pavement creates stormwater and aesthetic issues and large parking lots make commercial areas less walkable,” Litten said in the report. “Thus we should strive for adequacy, not abundance.”

Litten said based on staff’s report, Macado’s will create less of a burden in neighborhood parking near the Sipe Center than the Cracked Pillar does at Generations Park.

Going off staff’s recommendation, Town Council approved the request, and McConnell will move forward with renovating the old Dixon Drugstore.

The upper level will house three residential units, and the space for Macado’s will be two-thirds dining space and one-third kitchen.

The $1.4 million renovation project will likely take two years to complete from the design phase to end of construction.

Contact Jessica Wetzler at 574-6279 or jwetzler@dnronline.com. Follow Jessica on Twitter @wetzler_jessica

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