NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Battle over Paco's Tacos, By David Mirhadi, October 28, 2004
“Wambaugh's plan was initially proposed two years ago, complete with a fake chimney, decorative tower and mine shaft. The city Planning Commission rejected Wambaugh's design in November 2002, largely because residents worried the restaurant would create too much traffic in a gateway area of Grass Valley.

The following spring, the council approved the plans 4-1, with Enos casting the dissenting vote. The revised restaurant replaced three driveways with one off of French Avenue, to reduce traffic congestion along the largely residential street."
I was at the City Council meeting, and Mr. Wambaugh made an important point that did not come out in the article. The build parking lot layout and orientation was changed to meet Planning Commission demands. He complied with the rules. Now Mr. Enos wants to hassle him for the results of Planning Commission tinkering. Shame on you Mr. Enos.

UPDATE: Mr Enos responds:
"Hey Russ you might want to check your facts and make a few adjustments to your comments on your website. The Paco's Taco's project was denied by the Planning Commission. The applicant then appealed the Planning Commission denial to the City Council. Even Planning Commissioner Lisa Swarthout voted to deny the project. Fact is the design is not in compliance with city design guidelines, but was approved by the majority of the City Council under the applicants appeal.
I don't blame the applicant/owner for the traffic safety issues I raised at the recent City Council meeting, he built the project as approved, it's not his fault for following through with the project design that was approved. But the built project has a couple of traffic safety issues can be improved with some additional improvements to the built site. A number of residents in the area have contacted me and have similar concerns with the issues I raised at the Council meeting.

I really like a number of the design elements of the project. I think the building design was well done and well constructed. In fact as a professional Land Use Planner I use photos of the building in presentations as an example of good, non-traditional design for fast food restaurants. The building is nice, but the site plan is a bit flawed. The parking area and drive up stacking lane conflict with cars trying to enter and exit. Placing the drive up lane/window directly adjoining Mill Street was a mistake, but I don't hold the applicant/owner at fault for these design issues, he just built what was approved.

My desire is to have city staff review the issues raised. If determined to be an issue, work with the owner to develop and implement solutions. It's about public traffic safety, nothing more, nothing less.

And in closing, if anyone should be told "shame on you" it should be the applicant/owner for making his insulting and racist comment at the city council meeting about me and "Indians and Mexicans". I use the terms Native Americans and Hispanics and never lower myself to making personal attacks and name calling."

Tell me what you think


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