After the Pasadena City Council deadlocked in a vote to approve or deny plans for a Chick-fil-A across from the PCC on Bonnie Avenue and Colorado Boulevard Monday night, the Board of Zoning’s approval of the plans in March will stand.
The council tied 4-4 in a vote to approve the city staff’s recommendation to move forward with the expanded drive-through and also failed to reach a consensus on a vote to deny the conditional-use permit.
Councilman Terry Tornek had asked the council to review plans for the Chick-fil-A to open a franchise in the old Burger King building on Colorado at the council’s April 7 meeting. He was concerned about the expansion of the drive-through, which he called a non-conforming use.
“It is terrible land-use decision on a highly visible, incredibly importantly located site across from PCC and amidst an area of commercial revitalization,” Tornek said Monday night. “I predict that if you do make that decision that years from now as Colorado Boulevard develops and really becomes what it should be and can be in this part of Pasadena, people will be scratching their head and saying, ‘How did that ever get there?’”
The restaurant plans were originally approved by the city last December. However, Tornek appealed the approval and sent it to the Board of Zoning. Students and the PCC administration vehemently opposed the restaurant’s proposal because of its history of supporting anti-gay groups.
Senior Vice President Robert Miller was at the meeting, but did not say anything on behalf of the college during public comment.
“This was an example of public policy at its best,” Miller said. “The process went through a complete and careful study by both staff and elected officials. This is the outcome and I respect it.”
Chick-fil-A development supervisor Jennifer Daw said the company is excited to come to town.
“We’ve wanted to be in Pasadena for such a long time…,” she said. “[Chick-fil-A] looks forward to being a part of the community and giving new job opportunities to it.”