Anti-chain law won't keep Domino's out of Pacific Grove

March 24, 2002

Though the city of Pacific Grove, Calif., has ordinances forbidding the establishment of fast-food restaurants, one pizza chain is wedging itself in despite it.

According to a report in The Monterey Herald, legislation passed in the late 1980s and stiffened in 1995 blocks fast-food chains from setting up shop there.

Why? Residents dislike the disposable containers in which the food is sold and frown on chains' standardized menus.

Normally, that would preclude Domino's Pizza from moving in, said Dennis Boehlje, community development director. But the franchisee, Meredith Griffen, is moving into a former Little Caesars site, which was established prior to laws that now would restrict it.

"They can operate under the former-use permit," Boehlje told the Herald.

Pacific Grove also is home to a McDonald's and a Round Table Pizza store, both of which were in operation before the restrictions were passed.

To ensure the 1,100-square-foot Domino's operates within the law, it will not be enlarged.

Hoping to ease residents' concerns over a new chain coming to town, Griffen stressed that opening of her franchise doesn't signal the move of a large corporate business into the town of 20,000. Rather, she has plans to contribute to the community by feeding the homeless and being a hands-on operator.

"I'm looking forward to coming into Pacific Grove," she said. "I believe that you give to the community that you're in."

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