Local News

Court Rules “Famous Taco” Can Open in Quintana Plaza Despite Plan Commission’s Initial Denial

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – In a decision that will spice up the local dining scene, the Allen Superior Court ruled on May 14, 2024, that a “Famous Taco” restaurant is allowed to open in Quintana Plaza, a commercial development in Fort Wayne. This ruling follows a contentious legal battle between developer Martin Quintana and the Fort Wayne Plan Commission.

In 2019, Quintana secured zoning approvals from the Plan Commission and the Fort Wayne Common Council to rezone the area from residential to limited commercial use. To appease the nearby Covington Creek Association, Quintana agreed to a Written Commitment that restricted certain uses, including fast-food restaurants, but allowed sandwich bar-style eateries like Subway or Jimmy John’s.

Quintana sought to amend this commitment in 2022 to permit “Famous Taco” to open, arguing that it fit within the original scope of sandwich-style eateries. However, the Plan Commission disagreed, stating that the proposal was not consistent with the original zoning approval and the Comprehensive Plan, and denied the amendment after two business meetings.

Quintana then filed a petition for judicial review, which led to a court-ordered remand for the Plan Commission to provide more detailed findings. Despite this, the Plan Commission maintained its denial based on the lack of substantial changes in circumstances and adherence to planning policy.

Judge Craig J. Bobay, in his ruling, upheld the Plan Commission’s denial but clarified that “Famous Taco” falls under the original Written Commitment’s allowed uses. The restaurant, which will serve made-to-order tacos and other Mexican-style food without outdoor seating, drive-through service, or alcohol sales, does not violate the terms of the initial agreement.

This decision not only allows “Famous Taco” to proceed but also sets a precedent for how specific restaurant brands can be interpreted under general zoning commitments.

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