"Since the city Planning [department] staff had recommended not
approving the application, we felt we should pursue this further,
just to make sure," said Penny Church, who lives along Niagara
Street, which intersects Magnolia. "I think we just need to spend the
time. These are our homes and we are most affected by it."
Residents, who filed the appeal on Tuesday, are concerned that the
restaurant does not have enough parking, leading patrons to park
their cars on neighborhood streets. They also say a new
establishment, where alcohol is served, is one too many in an area
where there are five such businesses.
The issue went before the Planning Board at Monday's meeting. City
staff had compiled a report for the board, which detailed the
proposed plans for the restaurant. The proposed eatery would be a
sit-down, high turnover restaurant with seating for about 142
customers. The building will be about 4,700 square feet and will
include 21 parking spaces, to which the owner plans to add six
spaces, for a total of 27.
"We want to alert other people in Magnolia Park that the Planning
Board has this idea of what they want to happen with Magnolia Park,"
said Angela Macris, also a neighbor. "They want to make it a new
Ventura Boulevard by allowing California Chicken Cafe in."
The report also found that with the approval of the
conditional-use permit for alcohol, the incoming California Chicken
Cafe would make it six restaurants in the neighborhood with licenses
for on-premise consumption of alcohol. The Department of Alcoholic
Beverage Control has designated that an area with more than four
licenses constitutes an over-concentration of on-premise consumption
for alcohol, according to the report.
The applicant, Andre de Montesquiou, could not be reached for
The board is not pushing for Magnolia Boulevard to become "another
Ventura Boulevard," board Vice Chairman Dan Humfreville said, and it
also did not disregard its own staff.
"The city planning staff did not approve of the parking code, but
we found it to be within the Magnolia Park Master Plan because the
new revision looks favorably on restaurants," Humfreville said. "We
made our decision predominantly on that. This restaurant has mass
appeal. There's nothing within the local area like what was presented
"In all fairness, we also said we would meet with the applicant
Andre de Montesquiou," Church said. "He's a very nice person, and we
don't have anything against him. We just wanted to get people
together who were opposed to the project and meet with him.
"It's not that we don't want progress or anything," Church
continued. "But when it affects your home, you do want to explore the
possibilities. It's not a personal issue -- we're just finding out
what's going on."
For more information about the Magnolia Park meeting, call (818)
955-8977 or e-mail email@example.com.