On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara City Council unanimously voted to direct the City Attorney to prepare a draft ordinance with findings to support declaring a public nuisance arising from operations of the Chick-fil-A restaurant at 37307 State Street. Council continued the public hearing to June 7 when the ordinance and remedial options will be presented to Council. In the intervening time, City staff will work with Chick-fil-A to evaluate approaches to abating the nuisance.
Council’s motion also included a request that Chick-fil-A representatives provide a letter by March 11 outlining the continued mitigations they are implementing, such as the use of a traffic control staff person and expedited order processing, along with monthly traffic survey reports to City staff.
In recent years, the queuing from Chick-fil-A’s drive-through onto State Street has created serious traffic congestion, as well as hazardous conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and those with disabilities.
“On the Council our primary responsibility is for the protection and preservation of public health, safety, and welfare,” Councilman Eric Friedman said. “In this case, there is another high priority for the Council when you have a quasi-judicial hearing, and that’s to ensure that a fair hearing takes place and a transparent process. So we have to ensure that we have both of those as we go forward on this.”
The Public Hearing will return to Council on June 7.