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Chicken chain ruffles residents' feathers

October 12, 2005|By By Mark R. Madler

Niagara Street resident Penny Church said the proposed restaurant did not match with the neighborhood, because of the heavy traffic, a high-turnover restaurant would create. "We would love to have California Chicken Café come to Burbank," Church said. "But when you're talking about Magnolia Park and residential zoning adjacent, you have to be more considerate of the type of business coming in."

The Planning Board recommended on Aug. 22 that the City Council approve the conditional use permit and a parking variance despite staff members saying there was not enough parking for the restaurant.

Planning department staff members recommended to the council that the appeal on the conditional use permit and variance be granted.

Later, it became known that Bill Humfreville, the brother of Planning Board Vice Chairman Dan Humfreville, is a manager of California Chicken Café locations in Santa Monica and Westwood.

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Dan Humfreville never disclosed his brother's connection with the company although he had consulted with the City Attorney's Office prior to the Planning Board discussing and voting on the permit.

Since Bill Humfreville did not have any financial interest in the Burbank locations, it was not necessary for Dan Humfreville to recuse himself from the discussion or disclose his brother's connections, city officials said.

The City Council directed the City Attorney's Office to review the matter and report back at a future meeting.

* MARK MADLER covers City Hall and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at mark.madlerlatimes.com.

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