CATHY PECHSTEDT, San Juan Capistrano

The City Council voted on Oct. 20 to move forward with a traffic study for an In-N-Out Burger drive-thru at the current Marie Callender’s location. I and many others believe this is the wrong direction to pursue with this parcel.

As a reminder—an In-N-Out was also proposed at the O’Reilly’s location, and it was rejected by a previous council.

The plan submitted by the owner has another potential business located on the same lot which would be a “Phase 2.” If the drive-thru In-N-Out is approved to be built, they will be able to add the second business “By Right” and likely wouldn’t have to do another traffic study. A drive-thru Starbucks, for example, would be over the top!

The In-N-Out plan has one driveway only. One way in and one way out. Traffic would back up for quite a distance in the center safety lane to turn left into their driveway. Many customers would likely want to return to the freeway, and they couldn’t turn left until the incoming cars clear the safety lane. This could back up the drive-thru lane—eventually out onto Del Obispo.

An In-N-Out in San Juan Capistrano would be better placed at the new Ganahl Lumber site off Stonehill and would work better for them and for the community. There are two restaurant pads planned for that site. There is a planned traffic signal there, and the flow will be safer and more efficient for everyone.

Please write an email to the mayor and your councilmember to say “NO” to an In-N-Out at the Marie Callender’s location.

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