Planning Commission approves Wendy’s for ’Burger Basin’ |

Planning Commission approves Wendy’s for ’Burger Basin’

Wendy’s will join at least a half dozen other fast food chain restaurants in what’s become known as Grass Valley’s “Burger Basin”

The Grass Valley Planning Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve the project at 875 Sutton Way, which will demolish and replace the building that is now Paulette’s Country Kitchen.

Commissioners expressed concerns over potential traffic issues from having a drive-thru in a “bottleneck” area. Although the drive-thru at Paulette’s was only used more recently since the pandemic, because the building’s use is not changing, a traffic study was not required.

“A restaurant that’s predominantly a seat-in restaurant is a little bit different in terms of traffic than one that is a fast food restaurant,” said Commissioner Greg Bulanti.

While the commission found the project met all requirements, it expressed interest in examining the policy decision that allows the proliferation of drive-thru restaurant chains.

According to Community Development Director Tom Last, updates to the city’s development code may be brought before the commission and City Council this year, time and staff constraints allowing.

Last said since last addressing the issue in 2007 and allowing drive-thrus in Central Business and Heavy Commercial zones, there hasn’t been additional drive-thru chains added to the area, and some have closed.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email or call 530-477-4229.

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