The Board of Supervisors approved plans Tuesday for the hotly contested development of a Taco Bell restaurant in Acton – sans drive-through window.
The issue previously came before the board in November following Regional Planning Commission approval in September. Many Actonites were infuriated with the idea, fearing that if one fast-food restaurant with a drive-through window were allowed, it would open the door to others and ultimately spoil Acton’s rural character.
The proponent, First Street Development-Brevidoro Family Partnership, requested approval to build and operate the chain restaurant with a drive-through, as allowed under the zoning that applied at the time the development application was filed.
The project is being considered under the former 1986 Antelope Valley Areawide General Plan because the project application was filed prior to the adoption of the new 2015 Antelope Valley Area Plan.
Located at 3771 Sierra Highway near Crown Valley Road, the project would include an outdoor seating area with four tables and 12 seats, as well as 29 parking spaces – 22 standard-sized spaces located to the east of the building, five large angled spaces to the north of the building to accommodate recreational vehicles and other oversized vehicles and two disabled-accessible spaces in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also includes bicycle spaces a hitching post for horses and a trail connecting to the Vasquez Loop Trail.
A traffic study anticipated more than 900 net trips per day, 80 percent of them coming from or going to Highway 14.
A member of the Acton Town Council appealed the planning commission’s approval last year.
“The appellant stated the Acton community and the Acton Town Council were opposed to the project’s drive-through, but were not opposed to a Taco Bell restaurant without a drive-through,” according to a staff report. “The appellant further testified, among other things, that: the Traffic Study was flawed because it did not take into account gridlock on Sierra Highway near the project site during the early morning hours; the Project would predominately serve Antelope Valley freeway commuters and would not serve the local community; and the traffic generated by the project would result in the need for traffic signals at nearby intersections. “
The appellant submitted approximately 860 signed letters opposing the project, according to the report.
The board denied the appeal but nixed the drive-through.
The appellant appealed again, claiming the project did not follow the 1986 area plan or the 2015 area plan, among other things.
The supervisors again denied the appeal but affirmed the prohibition on the drive-through.