In mid-January after winning public concessions, Irvine's Planning Commission voted to approve an application by Chick-fil-A to build its fast-food restaurant and drive-through in University Center, the shopping plaza next to the UC Irvine campus.
Chick-fil-A executives agreed to comply with all local building standards and city planners, who extensively studied the proposal for the 4,736-square-foot operation, determined the plan was reasonable in every facet.
But councilman Larry Agran wants to block the development and tomorrow will ask his colleagues to join him in overriding the planning commission's decision.
Given that it's one of Orange County's most corrupt, grandstanding and egotistical politicians doing the whining, you know his rationale will cause indigestion.
The 1992 Democratic Party presidential primary candidate noted in his Jan. 31 appeal the sort of twisted logic that proves he really does belong in Washington, D.C.
Here goes: We shouldn't have Chick-fil-A at the location because it would be too popular and, according to Agran's scorn, businesses that lure happy customers increase pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
(He did, however, stop short of outwardly demanding a losing, unpopular restaurant for the property.)
Agran also claims the restaurant would reduce parking spaces at the shopping center and that drive-through traffic will harm Irvine's air quality.
You have to applaud the councilman for his audacity. Based on traffic studies completed by city staffers, the Chick-fil-A's drive-through lanes would peak at no more than 18 vehicles at a time per day. Indeed, during the overwhelming majority of each day, the numbers are projected to be much smaller.
Contrast Agran's imaginary horror with an undeniable fact: A professional politician for more than 30 years, he has voted in just the last decade for developments that added tens of thousands of cars each day to traffic congestion in Irvine.
City staff recommended that the council's Republican majority ignore Agran's latest tantrum.
This proposed Chick-fil-A will occupy the site of the former Lee's Sandwiches.