By Mary O’KEEFE
Last week’s decision by the Glendale City Planning Commission to deny the Starbucks Company implementation of its Evenings program in the Montrose Starbucks location is not exactly set in stone – yet.
“The Planning Commission needs to make a motion on the findings,” said Milica Toledo of the City of Glendale Planning Division.
The findings are what was discussed at the meeting last week when all five commissioners agreed that the Evenings program was simply not a “right fit” at the Starbucks in the Montrose Shopping Park.
Starbucks’ Evening program is an expansion of its menu including new food offerings and the sale of beer and wine. It was the latter items that had community members like Kim Mattersteig worried.
The permit for the Evenings program was initially approved with several restrictions in December 2015. Mattersteig appealed that decision and last week she and Starbucks faced off over the matter before the Commission.
Mattersteig did not come alone; she was backed by several community members, including youth from Crescenta Valley High School, and armed with petitions signed by both adults and children against the program.
Those against the proposed new menu were not against Starbucks or against wine or beer but felt the area had been saturated with alcohol vendors. There are 31 establishments that sell alcohol within a few short blocks of the Montrose Starbucks. The primary concern was that this particular location is a common area for kids of all ages to do their homework or meet up with friends.
In the end, the commissioners agreed and at their next meeting on March 16 it is expected they will make a motion on their findings.
“Once the motion is made then that is the date the appeal period starts,” Toledo added.
Starbucks will then have 15 days from that date to appeal the decision.
“I think we need to be prepared for the possibility of round two,” Mattersteig said.
She praised those who came to the meeting to show their support against the Evenings program at the Montrose Starbucks, especially the high school students.
“I feel the community needs to stay focused. We need to continue our efforts,” she said. “I would encourage people in the community to write or call the Glendale City Council to reject Starbucks if it were to appeal.”