By the edhat staff
Popular fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A has won the approval of the Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review this week for it’s new drive-thru design aimed at quelling traffic issues.
On Monday the board voted 6-0 for the new design which will create three separate drive-thru lanes with one allowing vehicles to bypass the drive-thru and park in the lot. This will also involve restructuring the exterior space to include widening the driveway entrance by 10 feet, removing landscaping and sixteen parking spots, and relocating handicapped parking spaces to the exit side of the building.
The 3709 State Street location used to be the home of Burger King and wasn’t accostomed to as much vehicle traffic as Chick-fil-A has received since opening in 2013.
Drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, residents, and fried chicken enthusiasts became frustrated by the long lines backing onto Upper State Street, often blocking entrances and exits for surrounding businesses.
Previous Chick-fil-A traffic congestion on Upper State Street next to a warning sign (Photo: edhat reader Josh B. / file)
This past June, the Santa Barbara City Council approved a proposed traffic circulation agreement that provides enforceable traffic control measures and site improvements for the chain restaurant. It previously voted to direct staff to prepare a declaration of nuisance ordinance resulting from extensive queuing at the drive-through lanes, but that was later rescinded.
In the meantime the restaurant hired a security guard to act as parking monitor, informing drivers not to block the street and either park or circle back. Employees are now outside the building with portable ordering tabs, similar to In-n-Out in an attempt to expedite service.
The project is scheduled to move forward.
Updated Chick-fil-A drive through rendering at 3707 State St. (Courtesy photo)