Grass Valley delays decision on proposed Paco’s restaurant |

Grass Valley delays decision on proposed Paco’s restaurant

The Grass Valley City Council Tuesday delayed a decision on a fast-food restaurant for the corner of Mill Street and French Avenue.

The City Council voted 4-1 to form a subcommittee to review the plans for the drive-through after listening to three dozen neighbors and others speak for and against Paco’s Tacos – a 1,425-square-foot restaurant at the bottom of French Avenue, a windy, residential street. Only Vice Mayor DeVere Mautino voted against the motion.

While some said the project would be an asset to the community, others questioned the location, traffic, and the trash problem the drive-through could generate.

The Planning Commission on Nov. 19 voted against developer David Wambaugh’s plans to open the restaurant. Wambaugh appealed the decision in early December and visited the neighborhood to gain support for his project. The Penn Valley resident described his business as a mom-and-pop operation, open six days a week, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and one that will not serve alcohol.

Wambaugh’s attorney, P. Scott Browne, said neighborhood opposition – not design or traffic issues – led the Planning Commission to turn down the plans. The land is zoned commercial and in a letter distributed to the City Council Tuesday, Browne said his client relied on that zoning designation and on information from city staff when deciding to purchase the property.

Ruth Paddock, who lives off French Avenue, told the City Council that while she loves Mexican food, she opposes the project. Traffic keeps getting worse, she said. It’s an accident waiting to happen, she said.

Up the street, however, Katherine Williams, who lives on the corner of French Avenue and Brighton Street, supports Wambaugh’s plans.

“It’s not like anybody is going to drive across town for a taco,” Williams said Wednesday. “It’s cute and it’s small,” she said of the eatery, adding she’d rather see a Paco’s Tacos on that corner than a convenience store. “It’s got more pluses than it’s got minuses.”

The City Council is expected to further review the project March 11.

How they voted

Vote to form a subcommittee to work on Paco’s Tacos:

Steve Enos…………………………Yes

Patti Ingram……………………….Yes

DeVere Mautino…………………No

Linda Stevens…………………….Yes

Gerard Tassone…………………..Yes

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