Confusion among councillors about a vote on the future of a second KFC for Warrnambool has left the issue up in the air for another month.
Councillors had initially voted five-two against the $1.8 million project for a 44-seat restaurant and drive-through on the grassed area at Northpoint Shopping Centre that was expected to create about 60 new jobs.
After knocking back the project, councillors were then asked to move another motion - along the lines of one that had previously been sent to them by a council officer last Thursday.
But that created confusion amongst the councillors, and Cr Debbie Arnott said she would refuse to vote on any new motion because she said it was unclear what they were being asked to do. "I'm not going to vote on anything while there's such a misunderstanding," she said.
Cr Ben Blain said he would also abstain from voting on any new motion because it was something that should have been dealt with before Monday's meeting.
Mayor Richard Ziegeler said it was "all a bit irregular". After a number of attempts to explain the procedure, under the direction of staff, Cr Ziegeler said the item would be shelved until the next council meeting and quipped "well that was interesting".
Cr Blain and Cr Max Taylor were the only councillors to vote in favour of the original motion to issue a notice of decision to issue a permit for the new store.
However, Cr Taylor said the queueing at the store "gravely" concerned him and would be an inconvenience.
Cr Arnott said rapid growth in the city's north had created significant traffic, and she had concerns about Mortlake Road with the fire station across the road from the proposed KFC.
She said she was in favour of new business and investment for Warrnambool and the jobs it would bring, but feared the traffic banked up at the Raglan Parade store would be replicated at the new location.
Cr Otha Akoch said the location was a problem while Cr Vicki Jellie said she wasn't against the restaurant itself but was concerned about the drive-through.
Cr Blain said when the shopping complex was built, it included a plan to have a restaurant on that land.
"There is a need for a second KFC in Warrnambool," he said.
"When councillors talk about supporting business, I think it's important to remember that if it's able to be done under our current planning scheme, why shouldn't we be supporting it?
"We don't want to discourage investment in our town."
Cr Blain also said if they had voted the project through, it wasn't a given it would get a permit.
He said one of the key conditions of the permit was that the applicant had to show council how the drive-through will impact the car park before the permit was granted.
The proposal had attracted 11 objections from seven businesses, three nearby residents and one from Ambulance Victoria which was later withdrawn.
Traffic congestion was the main bugbear for most objectors about the impact the popular restaurant would have the car park at peak times.
A Northpoint Shopping Centre business owner said they feared at peak times the traffic would mirror what was happening at the Raglan Parade store with up to 30 cars at a time lined up waiting as long as 40 minutes to be served.
"This line can run for up to three-and-a-half hours over their busy times," the business owner said.
They feared that a similar thing would happen there when the Raglan Parade store was closed for repairs - something that was slated to happen when a second store was opened.
Businesses had also warned that if traffic congestion lead to a drop-off in their business they would have to scale back and let staff go.
Nearby residents had also complained the odour from the fast food restaurant would mean they wouldn't be able to open their windows, and it would make their clothes hanging on the line smell too.
"We have looked at the plans for this and can't believe this would even be considered," one wrote.
The medical clinic located next door raised concerns about the traffic and the impact on its vulnerable patients. There is "not enough parking as it is in the complex", the clinic wrote in its objection.
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