Grover Beach votes against People’s Kitchen
October 9, 2013
The Grover Beach City Council voted 4-1 against providing the South County People’s Kitchen a permit to continue serving the homeless from the non-profit’s current temporary location on Monday night.
The organization, which provides hot meals to 80 to 100 needy people a day, appealed the planning commission’s denial to extend a temporary use permit for one year to allow the coalition to continue serving meals at a vacant lot off South 16th Street while they look for a new location.
Opponents of the permit extension argued that having a food program lowers nearby property values while increasing crime in the area.
Even though the council voted against extending the group’s conditional use permit until July 2014, it did agree to give the People’s Kitchen a 45 day extension. People’s Kitchen President Betsy Ehrler said she was disappointed in the vote, but hopeful that the coalition would find a new location in the next 45 days.
Since 1992, the organization has provided noontime meals to the needy. A coalition of 18 churches and volunteers cook food in their homes or church facilities, and then transport the meals to the People’s Kitchen serving site, where they dish out approximately 3,000 meals a month.