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Chick-fil-A appeals rejection of Santa Rosa restaurant

Chick-fil-A is asking the Santa Rosa City Council to overturn a decision rejecting plans for a fast-food restaurant on Mendocino Avenue because of its drive-thru.

The company on Monday filed an appeal of last week's Planning Commission decision to deny its plans for a 4,400-square-foot restaurant on the site of a vacant former Burger King building.

Drive-thrus are allowed in the city, but only with a use permit. The company's request for a permit was denied on a 3-3 vote, with commissioners Curtis Byrd, Vicki Duggan and Caroline Banuelos all opposing the project because of the drive-thru. They stated the feature was unnecessary and incompatible with the neighborhood's goals for a pedestrian friendly community.

Commissioner Shaun Faber was absent from the meeting of the seven-member board.

In its appeal, Chick-fil-A noted that its project meets all the rules set forth for drive-thrus in the city. The College Park, Ga.-based company also pointed out the restaurant will be oriented to the street, is pedestrian friendly, and includes abundant landscaping and more than three times the bicycle parking required by city code (20 versus six).

A traffic consultant estimated the restaurant would generate 2,158 vehicle trips per day. The company has said it expects to serve about 50 percent of its customers at the drive-thru.

The appeal is expected to be heard by the council May 22.


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