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An Indiana judge declares burritos and tacos as sandwiches



Fort Wayne, Indiana – Tacos and burritos are considered sandwiches, according to a Fort Wayne judge.

In order to build a strip mall, commercial developer Martin Quintana requested a zoning modification in 2019. Quintana consented to formal agreements with the neighbors, including one concerning eateries, in order to obtain the plan commission’s approval and prevent protests from Covington Creek Condominium Association members. It was successful.

The Famous Taco Mexican Grill sought to expand into the strip mall located at 6626 W. Jefferson Blvd. in Fort Wayne, which is east of Glenbrook Square mall. That is close to Covington Plaza and southwest of downtown.

Quintana planned for The Famous Taco to debut in his strip mall, Quintana Plaza, in 2022.

Despite their protests, the neighbors managed to modify the written agreements to permit the eatery. However, the plan commission disapproved of the modification. Quintana then asked for a judge’s opinion.

The contentious commitment was intended to keep conventional fast-food establishments out.

“A sandwich bar-style restaurant whose primary business is to sell ‘made-to-order’ or ‘subway-style’ sandwiches (which by way of example includes, but is not limited to, ‘Subway’ or ‘Jimmy John’s’, but expressly excludes traditional fast food restaurants such as ‘McDonalds’, ‘Arbys’ and ‘Wendys’), provided that any such restaurant shall not have outdoor seating or drive-through service. For the avoidance of doubt, the sale of alcoholic beverages is expressly prohibited upon the Real Estate.”

On Monday, Craig J. Bobay, an Allen Superior Judge, declared that a Famous Taco restaurant would be permitted and that the obligations wouldn’t need to be changed.

In his ruling, the judge wrote, “The proposed Famous Taco restaurant falls within the scope of the general use approved in the original Written Commitment. The proposed Famous Taco restaurant would serve made-to-order tacos, burritos, and other Mexican-style food, and would not have outdoor seating, drive through service, or serve alcohol. The Court agrees with Quintana that tacos and burritos are Mexican style sandwiches, and the original Written Commitment does not restrict potential restaurants to only American cuisine-style sandwiches.”

The court left the door open for an appeal by noting that, despite his decision, he did not think the plan commission’s actions were unlawful.



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