Paco’s Tacos rejected; design flaws, traffic concerns cited
Citing concerns about congestion and numerous design flaws, the Grass Valley Planning Commission unanimously rejected plans Tuesday for a fast-food establishment at the corner of French and Mill streets.
Applicants David and Susan Wambaugh proposed building a 1,425- square-foot establishment on nearly half an acre.
Commissioners said they feared an influx of traffic on French Avenue would lead to potential traffic hazards. They also said the lot may be too small to handle the anticipated increase in traffic through the proposed Paco’s Tacos restaurant.
“The project is an excellent project … (but) I feel the project is being force-fed in that property because of its size,” said Commissioner Dale White, who with Commissioner Paul Aguilar formed a special committee to review the impacts of a traffic study performed for the applicants.
In their findings, White and Aguilar questioned whether the project would be compatible, situated as it is at the gateway of Grass Valley’s downtown; the impact of traffic coming from French Avenue, and the impact on special events that use the nearby Nevada County Fairgrounds.
However, traffic studies supplied by the applicant show an insignificant increase in cars on French Avenue, consulting engineer Kevin Nelson said. In fact, Nelson said in response to a question from commission chair Lisa Swarthout, traffic counts are well within city planning guidelines.
She suggested the project might be approved without a drive-through.
Aguilar said building the restaurant at the proposed site “would create a dangerous situation for the citizens of Grass Valley” because of the proximity of the steep grade on French to the entrance of the restaurant.
Nelson said he’s not sure if he’ll appeal to the City Council.
“Everybody liked the design concept. At this point, we’ll have to explore our options,” he said.
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