Arroyo Grande council votes down Popeyes restaurant

Following protest from neighbors, the Arroyo Grande City Council rejected a plan to open a Popeyes fast food restaurant on a vacant city-owned lot that is located near a residential neighborhood.

The project proposal called for the developer, Glendale firm ELA Foods Inc., to buy the 34,625 square foot property from the city, then build a 2,650 square foot Popeyes restaurant with a drive-thru. The lot is located at 727 El Camino Real by the intersections of both Faeh Avenue and Bell Street.

A single family residential neighborhood is situated directly across Faeh Avenue from the vacant lot. However, the property is zone for mixed use, and vehicles cannot access the site from the residential neighborhood, according to planning documents.

Last month, the Arroyo Grande Planning Commission gave approval for the project.

At the Arroyo Grande council meeting Tuesday, neighbors spoke out against the proposed Popeyes. Neighbors opposed the planned fast food restaurant over noise, lights and traffic concerns and suggested that the city place a different type of business at the location.

No one spoke in favor of the project during public comment. The council voted 4-0 to reject the project.

City officials had said the Popeyes would generate $10,000 to $20,000 a year in added sales tax revenue.