First published in the Jan. 1, 2022, print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Despite being a source of some controversy in a nearby neighborhood, a Raising Cane’s location is slated to open in Burbank sometime in March, a representative confirmed.
The fast food restaurant, known for its chicken fingers and Texas toast, will begin operating at 1750 W. Olive Ave, in mid- to late-March, Raising Cane’s community liaison Marice DePesquale told the Leader. Burbank officials said in June that the eatery was scheduled to open in September 2021.
Pasquale attributed the delay to concerns from residents of the Rancho Providencia neighborhood, several of whom addressed the City Council in early 2020 with worries that the restaurant’s drive-thru would attract traffic, noise and trash to their residential area. The council later directed the Community Development Department to update the neighborhood’s protection plan, which could eventually introduce measures such as parking permit requirements and intersection adjustments.
David Kriske, CDD assistant director for transportation, said in an email that the city will be collecting neighborhood traffic data in January, and plans to later hold a community input meeting before presenting the City Council with potential short-term improvement options.
Raising Cane’s also hosted a community meeting to get input on residents’ concerns, Pasquale said.
“We’ve taken that ‘be a good neighbor’ approach thus far,” she added.
The restaurant’s opening date was also affected, Pasquale explained, when a group apparently comprised of residents from the Rancho Providencia neighborhood sued the city in June, alleging the development of the location violated the Burbank Municipal Code.
A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for March 11, though Jamie Hall, an attorney representing Save Rancho Providencia Neighborhood, said that might change depending on the outcome of another hearing on March 9.
Much of the legal battle has centered around the aspect of the restaurant over which residents have expressed the most concern: the drive-thru.
Hall said in an interview that Raising Cane’s demolished more of the preexisting structure — a bank — than the company told the city it would. Doing so would require the restaurant to apply for a conditional use permit for the drive-thru, a process that would potentially give the city more leeway to adjust or deny the project.
“It looks like we’re going to be able to provide, as a matter of just basic math, that this developer demolished more than they were allowed to and therefore they’re not entitled to proceed,” he explained.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge declined in October to issue a preliminary injunction preventing Raising Cane’s from opening its Burbank location, however. The ruling agreed that the city’s calculations — which placed the amount of demolition below the threshold requiring a permit — were appropriate.
The judge was less decisive regarding another argument posited by Save Rancho Providencia Neighborhood. Hall has alleged that, because the bank had walled in the drive-thru years before the restaurant began construction, Burbank’s code requires Raising Cane’s to seek a permit to restore its use.
Representatives of Burbank and Raising Cane’s have maintained that since the drive-thru existed during previous uses of the location, the eatery doesn’t need a new permit to operate it.