SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – In the midst of its 90-day period to fix its traffic problems before being declared a public nuisance, Chick-fil-A has filed a conditional use permit application for a new location in the unincorporated area between Santa Barbara and Goleta – less than three miles away from the existing building in the city of Santa Barbara's jurisdiction.
The restaurant filed the permit application with the county's Planning and Development Department on Monday, Travis Seawards, the county's Planning and Development division deputy supervisor, confirmed to News Channel 3-12.
In the application, Chick-fil-A proposed the construction of a new 2,504 square-foot quick service restaurant with 50 parking spaces and drive-thru service, Seawards said.
The proposed site is located at 4765 Calle Real – where there is an existing, operational IHOP restaurant.
The permit application proposes demolishing the existing building, according to Seawards.
It was unclear if Chick-fil-A already owns the property or would have to make a private real estate transaction to obtain it.
The permit application comes in the early days of Chick-fil-A's 90-day time frame to fix traffic problems at its State Street location.
The existing restaurant has been the center of community complaints for months as traffic from the drive-thru has caused large traffic back-ups and safety issues.
The Santa Barbara City Council on March 1 gave the restaurant 90 days to remedy the issues before it declares Chick-fil-A a public nuissance.
Chick-fil-A told News Channel 3-12 that the new proposed location is not intended to replace the existing State Street location, and that that restaurant is "actively working" with the city on traffic mitigation efforts.
"We are always evaluating potential new locations in the hopes of serving existing and new customers great food with remarkable service, and we’re happy to confirm that we’re exploring an additional location in the Santa Barbara community," Chick-fil-A, Inc. sent in a statement to News Channel 3-12.
In order for the application to be accepted, the project would have to meet a specific set of findings, including, but not limited to, neighborhood compatibility and neighborhood impacts, Seawards said.
Once the project is reviewed and found to have met all the requirements, it would go before the Planning and Development Department for full approval at a public hearing.
Seawards said that there is no exact timeline for how long it takes for an application to move through the permitting process, as it varies depending on how responsive the applicant is.