California officials are close to declaring a busy Chick-fil-A a ‘public nuisance’ due to traffic safety concerns caused by the restaurant’s long drive-thru lines.
Earlier this month the Santa Barbara City Council debated what to do about a Chick-fil-A located at 3707 State Street that has caused a headache for local business owners and residents.
City officials said they have been in talks with the location’s store operator for years after complaints of ridiculously long lines of vehicles lining up for the restaurant’s famous chicken-centric menu items.
Earlier this month the Santa Barbara City Council debated what to do about a Chick-fil-A located at 3707 State Street (pictured) that has caused a headache for local business owners
A city council report said during the week the fast food restaurant’s drive-though line blocks an entire lane of traffic for up to 90 minutes at its peak
The queues of vehicles have blocked everything from driveway entrances of nearby businesses, bicycle lanes, and the sidewalk, a public planning report said.
The long lines have even forced city buses and emergency vehicles to detour to avoid the busy area and
According to a city council report, during the week the fast food restaurant’s drive-though line blocks an entire lane of traffic for up to 90 minutes at its peak and on Saturdays for up to 155 minutes.
‘The city’s traffic engineer, police chief and community development director have evaluated the situation and believe that the persistent traffic back-up onto State Street is a public nuisance and that the nuisance is caused by the operation of a drive-through at the Chick- fil-A restaurant,’ the report said.
At the March 1 meeting, councilmembers said they personally witnessed near accidents caused by the long lines and that they shouldn’t wait for an actual accident to act, the Santa Barbara News-Press reported.
The queues of vehicles have blocked everything from driveway entrances of nearby businesses, bicycle lanes, and the sidewalk, a public planning report said
At a council meeting on March 1, councilwoman Kristen Sneddon suggested that the restaurant has gotten too big for it’s current site and it was no longer realistic for it to operate there
‘People do not have to die because of a traffic accident before you declare it a public nuisance, Assistant city attorney Dan Hentschke said.
Councilwoman Kristen Sneddon suggested that the restaurant has gotten too big for it’s current site and it was no longer realistic for it to operate there.
‘This is not about the goodness of the company or the goodness of the owners and certainly not about the goodness of the employees,’ she said. ‘Chick-fil-A has a good problem here. They are so successful, they have outgrown their site. It’s possible they were oversized for that site, to begin with.’
At the meeting, Chick-fil-A representatives presented a plan to councilmembers aimed at addressing their concerns.
Travis Collins, the owner and operator of the restaurant, pointed out the lines have decreased in recent months, but vowed to deal with the queues, rearrange parking spaces and add a forced right turn exit out of the restaurant.
‘On behalf of myself, Chick-fil-A and the many team members, we sincerely regret that this traffic situation has come to this point and heartily wish to work in good faith with the city to resolve this matter once and for all,’ Collins said. ‘We believe we do have solutions, several of them.’
But Sneddon expressed doubts that the highly popular restaurant could truly manage the influx of customers who are willing to wait hours for a meal.
‘There’s a tolerance of the bosses of Chick-fil-A for how far back they’re willing to queue,’ she said.
The city council has planned a public hearing for June 7 where they will decide whether or not to declare the restaurant a public nuisance.
The possibly of the city’s only Chick-Fil-A being declared a public nuisance has garnered mixed reactions online.
‘Unbelievable what these woke cities come up with. The city of Santa Barbara, California, is considering declaring a Chick-fil-A restaurant in the city a public nuisance because of the traffic it creates with its drive-thru lanes,’ one person tweeted.
Another person applauded city council for taking action, tweeting: ‘Good for the city of Santa Barbara for taking a deeper look at this issue. Some restaurant chains essentially turn the roads leading to their stores into proprietary queues. Essentially capturing public space for private enterprise.’
‘Santa Barbara State Street is literate with homeless encampments and open air drug emporiums but they want to charge Chick-fil-A as a public nuisance?’ someone else tweeted.