Costa Mesa council to re-dredge proposal for second Raising Cane’s drive-through

A photo simulation of a Raising Cane's fast-food restaurant planned for Old Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa.
A photo simulation of a Raising Cane’s fast-food restaurant planned for Old Newport Boulevard in Costa Mesa.
(Screenshot by Sara Cardine)

Those concerned about a recently approved Raising Cane’s drive-through restaurant on Costa Mesa’s Old Newport Boulevard will get a second chance to make their case, as the City Council prepares to reconsider the matter anew.

Officials are scheduled on April 16 to re-hear a proposal put forth by proprietors of the popular chicken-finger chain establishment during a Feb. 12 meeting of the Planning Commission, who hope to redevelop a 1-acre lot in the former site of Von Hemert Interiors.

Raising Cane’s representatives described plans for a 2,913-square-foot restaurant with a 1,303-square-foot outdoor patio and a parking lot that could accommodate 34 spaces and a split-lane drive-through.


After examining issues related to potential noise and traffic impacts to an adjacent, commercially zoned 62-unit mobile home park, and taking testimony from both restaurant supporters and potentially affected locals, commissioners approved the project in a 4-2 vote, stipulating that the entire matter be revisited by the panel one year after the restaurant’s opening.

City planning commissioners Monday approved plans for a Raising Cane’s restaurant at the complicated intersection of Old Newport Boulevard and 16th Street.

Feb. 14, 2024

However, that narrow approval could conceivably be overturned. Costa Mesa City Councilwoman Arlis Reynolds — who represents Council District 5, where the restaurant would be located — filed a request with the city clerk’s office to have the entire proposal reconsidered by the City Council.

Reynold’s request for a “de novo” hearing, signed and dated Feb. 20 and filed four days later, indicates her wish to offer an “adequate opportunity” for adjacent businesses and residents to provide input on the plans and bring a “higher level of review of traffic, circulation, noise and neighborhood impacts,” according to the document.

In an email Thursday, Reynolds further cited a significant change in land use and the proposal’s getting a split vote from commissioners on Feb. 12 (Chair Adam Ereth and Commissioner Rojas were opposed, and Angely Andrade Vallarta was absent) as reasons for another review.

Concerned residents sued the chicken chain out of concern for children’s safety.

Feb. 17, 2022

“Most public comments were not from adjacent neighbors, [and] neighboring residents and businesses who did comment expressed concerns and requested more time to review potential project impacts,” she wrote.

“I want to make sure nearby neighbors and businesses have adequate time to get familiar with the project details and share concerns or support about potential impacts.”

Unlike an appeal, a review essentially allows for the waiver of fees associated with advancing the matter from the Planning Commission to City Council level, which range from $1,220 to $3,825.