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Angry Campbell Residents Pack Meeting to Oppose Chick-fil-a

Also: Strange bedfellows at a new Berkeley restaurant, and more news to start your day

City of Campbell/Eater SF

After a meeting that lasted all night, Campbell’s city council rejected Chick-fil-a’s plan to open on a busy city block

The opposition, KPIX reports, was unrelated to the popular chicken chain’s past support of groups opposed to LGBTQ rights. Instead, it was fears over traffic congestion that sunk Chick-fil-a’s plans.

According to analysis from Campbell city planners (available online here), Chick-fil-a’s proposed location at 2060 S. Bascom Avenue could draw as many as 2,300 extra drivers to the spot — which is near the bustling Pruneyard Shopping Center — every day. The city’s planning commission approved Chick-fil-a’s plans last fall, characterising those traffic concerns as “less than significant.”

That characterization agitated some Campbell residents, it appears, and they mounted a petition against the proposed Chick-fil-a, filing an appeal that claimed the restaurant would lead to “increased litter, noise pollution and carbon emissions from idling cars and trucks,” the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Speaking with ABC 7, Catherine Clock, one of the area residents behind the appeal, said that if the restaurant was opened, “You’re going to have all these cars queued up.... you’re going to have people doing U-turns...You’re going to have people in the area who don’t know the area because they’re coming here for the Chick-Fil-A.”

Early Wednesday morning, the project’s opponents prevailed, and Campbell’s city council voted to reject Chick-fil-a’s proposal. This might not be the end of the story, however, as a Chick-fil-A representative says that to reverse the approval for the spot, the council must find “substantial evidence that the planning commission erred in making its decision.” If that wasn’t the case, the city of Campbell might have another fight on its hands, this time with a monied and popular chain that seems extremely eager to expand in the Bay Area.

And in other news...

  • Valencia Pizza & Pasta, which slung slices for 25 years from its 801 Valencia Street storefront, has shuttered. [SFist]
  • Oakland residents Sara Heady and Vanessa Pope haven’t just opened a zero-waste grocery store called MudLab, they also consult with local restaurants on how to cut single-use plastics. [Berkeleyside]
  • SF’s Fancy Foods show gives a glimpse today of what shoppers can expect on grocery shelves tomorrow. [SF Business Times]
  • Author Norma Slavit has penned a Silicon Valley-set coming-of-age tale about Larry Chu Jr., the general manager of popular Los Altos restaurant Chef Chu’s and the son of chef/restaurateur Lawrence Chu. [East Bay Times]
  • On January 25, Boileroom, a Berkeley restaurant focused on the odd couple of Taiwanese hot pot and rolled ice cream, will formally open. [Daily Californian]