Southwest Fresno Starbucks proposal postponed

The council will take up the proposal once again in a couple weeks.

A proposal to build a Starbucks in southwest Fresno has been delayed. 

Thursday, the Fresno City Council voted to shelve approval of the project until the next council meeting on April 4 due to concerns about traffic. 


The backstory: The proposed Starbucks would be built at the southwest corner of E. Church Ave. and S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. in West Creek Village. 

  • The total proposal on the nearly three acre site calls for a 5,781 square foot building that includes a Starbucks with a drive-thru. 
  • Councilman Miguel Arias appealed the approval for the project by the city Planning Director. 

The big picture: Arias appealed the project based on the increase in traffic that would pose a danger to children at nearby Gaston Middle School. 

  • Arias also had concerns about the increased pollution that would come with idling vehicles in the drive-thru. 
  • The council voted 5-0 to postpone the appeal until the next meeting after Arias requested more time to review the project and to receive an updated proposal. 

What they’re saying: Part of Arias’s appeal centered on the project allowing a second drive-thru business along with Starbucks. 

  • “We would literally be replicating Chick-fil-A and In-N-Out in west Fresno if those two drive-thrus were to be built,” Arias said, referring to the fast food locations near River Park. “Except instead of becoming a nuisance to a shopping center, we would become a safety hazard to four schools that are right adjacent.” 
  • Arias said there is not a single other school in the city burdened with an adjacent drive-thru. 
  • He said constituents have told him they would support the project if it was planned on Jensen. Ave. instead of Church Ave. 
  • “My goal on the council has been to improve the safety around our schools, not to worsen it no matter how well intentioned the proposal is,” Arias said. “I believe there is a balance that we can reach in that spirit, but I also believe that we need more time to reach that balance.” 
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