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Heaven Snow shaved ice can have drive-thru window
• Kiosk to move 20 feet to north
Heaven Snow kiosk in winter
Heaven Snow kiosk may now have a drive-up lane and window. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier file photo

Violet Saveh received permission from the Ceres Planning Commission Monday evening to move her Heaven Snow shaved ice/coffee business kiosk 20 feet north of its current location in the La Sequoia Market parking lot to allow for a drive-thru window and drive-thru lane for up to two vehicles.

The 5-0 vote to approve was a victory for Saveh who was told in 2022 that she couldn’t have a drive-thru window despite being allowed to operate year-round. In 2021 she won approval to set up tables and chairs – something not allowed for mobile food vendors.

The approval requires that traffic will only be allowed to enter but not exit the southern ingress to the store parking lot along Central Avenue.

Saveh requested approval of a Conditional Use Permit to allow the modifications to her original approval. Moving the kiosk would allow her business to have a 40-foot-long drive-thru queuing lane that will accommodate up to two vehicles. Signage will indicate that no more than two vehicles may stack up in the lane so as to not impede traffic coming into the parking lot.

Saveh said she’s okay with the city revoking the lane should there be any problems or complaints.

Most of Heaven Snow customers use the walk-up window of the 150-square-foot portable kiosk that faces Central Avenue.

In her original application, Saveh wanted to relocate her kiosk to the northeast of the market property. That request was rejected out of fears of traffic conflicts within the parking lot. The commission in April asked her to go back to a different design which was considered and approved on Monday.

Senior Planner Teddie Hernandez said Saveh also will restripe the parking lot to signal to motorists that there is one way traffic flow. Relocating the building would allow vehicles to line up along the northern portion of the parking lot, which would not block or impede traffic from entering or exiting the parking lot and still allow room for parking stalls for walk-up customers.

Ceres resident John Warren voiced disapproval with the proposal.

“I think the snow cone business is a really great business,” said Warren. “I think it’s an asset to the community but I really feel that a drive-up window in a two-way parking lot is the right way to go.”

He also said there was “no way that they can control the number of people” that drive into the lane and said traffic could back onto Central Avenue. Warren said the proposal also bites into the minimum number of parking spaces for customers of the store and Watermill Express dispensary also on the same site.

One supporter said the business has given jobs to many teens and a drive-thru lane would be convenient to parents who don’t want to drag their children out of seats and car seats.

Heaven Snow map
This map shows how the Heaven Snow kiosk will be relocated 20 feet to the north in the La Sequoia Market to enable Violet Saveh to have her drive-up window. No more than two cars can stack up in the cue. - photo by Courtesy of the city of Ceres