The Rancho Mirage Planning Commission is moving forward with plans to approve an In-N-Out Burger in the city as neighbors increase pressure to oppose its construction by seeking legal counsel.
The city’s planning commission’s public hearing was a combo of locals for and against the construction of the fast-food restaurant, Jim Elliot lives on Magnesia Falls Drive and he was one of many locals who oppose In-N-Out joining his neighborhood.
“I think it has a serious impact on a lot of people,” Elliot said. “I think there are some serious inconsistencies in the data and there may be some zoning issues, they have to change some zoning in Las Palmas to accommodate this project.”
Elliot and his neighbors are not taking any chances, they hired a lawyer to help them through the process.
Part of the neighbor’s concerns are related to the city staff’s recommendations such as an exemption to the California Environmental Quality Act as well as approving zoning changes to allow a drive-thru fast-food restaurant in the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center.
Rod is also a neighbor who opposes the construction of an In-N-Out on the proposed location. He said his main concern is the traffic that may pile-up just feet away from a residential area.
Rod said, “In-N-out is supposed to go right there, so all of these 1,000 cars every single day are going to be huffing and puffing into our quiet street that gets 100 cars a day now.”
Rod is calling for the city to conduct a proper environmental impact report, he said a study could show the amount of traffic the restaurant attracts is not conducive to the proposed location.
He said, “The city is trying to circumvent the codes and ordinances that are in place to protect our investments and to protect the quiet enjoyment of our property.”
Meanwhile, Elliot said retaining legal council was not his first choice, but he wants his neighbors to know all of their legal options and not get lost with all the municipal jargon.
Elliot said, “It’s no accident that they filed in late April, early May, it’s no accident that the data was taken in August, and it’s no accident that not too many people know about it, in my opinion, I think they tried to slip it under the radar.”
The Rancho Mirage City Council will discuss the proposed In-N-out Burger on October 3.