Long Beach Planning Commissioners will rehear a proposal to add two new drive-thru restaurants at the Long Beach Towne Center after delaying a vote last month over concerns that the businesses would not be compliant with the city’s climate action plan.
Because of a dispute over how the businesses would be powered, the commission in August postponed a vote on the proposed El Pollo Loco and Raising Cane’s franchises that could be built at a vacant lot at the Towne Center.
Long Beach’s Climate Action Plan requires new businesses to use 100% zero-carbon electricity, which can be accomplished in two ways. They can purchase power through Southern California Edison’s “green rate program,” which is currently not accepting new customers, or install solar panels.
After meeting with the developer last month, city staff is proposing to allow the businesses to open as long as they are at least on the waiting list for Edison’s green rate program. However, if they’re not off the waitlist within four years, the businesses could have to add solar panels, something that representatives of the businesses said last month would add millions to the project cost.
The two restaurants would be built on a vacant lot near the Walmart at the Towne Center and would utilize dual-lane drive-thrus that could allow up to 13 vehicles to queue at the El Pollo Loco and 20 at the Raising Cane’s without blocking access to the parking lots, according to plans submitted to the city.
Both locations are proposing to have late-night hours, operating from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. weekly.
The Planning Commission is meeting Thursday, Sept. 7 at 5 p.m. where it will also consider allowing the Chick-fil-A at the Towne Center to expand its drive-thru operations and hold a study session on parking policies in the city.