Many thought a planned In-N-Out in Rancho Mirage was no more, but a draft of an environmental impact report for the planned project has now been released on the city’s website for public review.
NBC Palm Springs spoke to city leaders and to a community group who has been against having an In-N-Out in the city to see if this project will move forward.
The In-N-Out project was approved back in October of 2019, but shortly after a group of neighbors known as “Save Rancho Mirage” filed a lawsuit saying the project violated the California Environmental
The group worries having a busy fast-food restaurant will bring down property value and contribute to heavy congestion and air pollution in their neighborhood questioning the current data that has been collected.
“We thought it was bogus, I don’t even know why they bothered, it was conflicting, it was done on a day in August, for the traffic study, when there’s nobody here,” said Jim Elliot, Board President of Save Racho Mirage.
Elliot says this first draft of this impact report is very detailed in offering possible solutions to issues like traffic flow and hours of operation, but he still questions the timing.
“It looks like it was quite comprehensive, I saw the issues, it looked at alternatives. To that part I give them credit, I am still very suspect of the data that was collected,” explained Elliot.
The city of rancho mirage responded stating in part…
“The project never went away. the first lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, which means the city’s first (CEQA) determination remains valid… in the context of litigation, sometimes misinformation may be disseminated in the community as a strategy to confuse the matter… the project is moving forward with a proposed draft environmental impact report (EIR)…”
According to the city, In-N-Out voluntarily chose to have an environmental impact report. a decision that kept them from having to battle the issues in court.
“Yes, the case was dismissed with prejudice on the (CEQA) issue, but that doesn’t mean we can’t challenge the veracity of the data,” added Elliot.
“I am an in-n-out lover, I would frequent it a lot more if it was closer than over there off the ten freeway. You know what I mean, it’s always just the wrong way for me,” explained Klementina Njegovec
“The past two nights we ate right across the street and I noticed some of the businesses are closing right here in the shopping centers so I think it’s a really good idea to bring and in-n-out burger in this area,” said Karla Tyson, visiting from Nevada.
The public has until November 6th to submit written comments, after that the comments will be reviewed by the city for approval following a public hearing. Written comments can be submitted to Development Services Director Jeremy Gleim by email at email@example.com or by mailing your statement to City Hall.