Stephen Ellison

Proposed In-N-Out Location Causes a Stir in Walnut Creek

Residents worried about increased traffic and noise in their neigborhood

A battle is sizzling in the East Bay, where residents of Walnut Creek oppose the building of an In-N-Out fast food restaurant.

On one side it may seem like it’s over burgers, fries and shakes. But when you flip it over, it’s more about traffic, noise and pollution. Resdients in the Walnut Creek neighborhood of Second Avenue and Main Street just want to make sure their voices are heard.

They are concerned about the noise they already hear from the busy intersection. Building an In-N-Out there would create a lot more noise pollution, they said.

The only thing separating the burger joint from Dan Angius’ backyard is a fence.

"We are not opposed to In-N-Out being built in this city," Angius said. "There’s an element of danger the community is exposed to when you push traffic for such a cult following favorite like In-N-Out in a residential neighborhood."

Walnut Creek-based Hall Equities Group filed a commercial use permit for the restaurant. The development also includes a new Starbucks and upgrades to existing buildings.

Residents say they would like to have a dialogue with the city and Hall Equities about "thoughtful development." The city's economic development commission said Tuesday night that while Hall Equities is applying for a land use permit, the application is incomplete. A city spokesperson added that there are a lot of issues that have to be discussed like traffic study and environmental review.

Pleasant Hill residents gave In-N-Out a fight in 2010, complaining about noise and proximity to homes.

Angius wants to be a good neighbor to the developer, but he has the same concerns.

"Just because this has been vacant for a year, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the first proposal they give us is one that we should jump on," he said.

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