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Planning Commission Says No to Second Starbucks on Orange

The coffee giant loses another round in Coronado – first the City Council says no to wine and beer on the menu and now the planning commission nixes a new outlet in town.

The Planning Commission voted 3 to 1 Tuesday to deny Starbucks' request for a second store in Coronado.

Commissioner Peter Jensen was the lone supporter of the proposal for a new location at 135 Orange Ave.; Scott Grimes was absent. 

It's the second setback in two weeks for the chain in Coronado; on May 11, Starbucks for its at 960 Orange, .

The store would have been the if the license had been approved.

The new rejection, however, might be temporary; the chain can appeal the commission's decision, which would put the matter before the council.

Because it's defined as a fast-food formula restaurant, Starbucks needed a minor special use permit and a coastal permit to open the new store. 

Commissioners said they don't see a need for another Starbucks in town and added that they were concerned about the impact an additional outlet would have on local businesses.

“This violates the spirit of the Orange Avenue Corridor Specific Plan,” said Commissioner Doug St. Denis, who served on the committee that developed the document.

“We wanted to protect and encourage our neighbors to open a business here,” she said. 

The plan specifically limits the number of fast food formula restaurants to 10; there are now six. Many people expressed fears that this would encourage other formula restaurants in town to ask for second stores. 

Local business owners and community activists turned out to oppose the plan. 

“Please keep our small town values,” said Debbie Boney, owner of , which is next door to the building where the proposed Starbucks could be located. 

She also predicted that caffeine-starved customers would pack her parking lot, though the store is set to have access to underground spaces. “Where there is a Starbucks there is predatory parking,” she said.

The critics bemoaned the effect on Coronado despite the assurances of Keith Glassman, a representative from the Seattle-based coffee giant who said a new store would be “a benefit to the community.”

“This is a neighborhood-based store that will do well by residents, bringing vibrancy to the community,” he said. 

He also noted that homeowners associations at the Point and Landing condominiums supported the proposal.  

“People are thrilled to have a Starbucks,” he said. “It’s a great meeting place for residents and people coming off the ferry.”

Rita Sarich, who heads Coronado MainStreet, which seeks to maintain the character of the community's business district, was not persuaded.

“This business would negatively impact the public welfare. It will adversely impact some of most generous businesses in our community,” she said, citing the market, the eatery and the Nado Life chain of restaurants.

Their commitment to community and personal connections swayed the commission.

“She knows my name I know hers,” St. Denis said of Boney “She created something that is unique to Coronado. Same with Tartine. To put a Starbucks in between would be a mean thing to do and I can’t support it.”

Starbucks has 10 days to appeal the commission's decision. The company's next step is unclear.

“That's up to corporate,” Glassman said. “I have to check with them before I can comment.” 

Jim Ferris May 23, 2012 at 02:15 PM
So, the Planning Commission approves six places on that block of Orange where I can buy liquor, but rejects one establishment where I can buy coffee. To preserve our city's values and charm, they say. Embarrassing, I say.
Charles Wagner May 23, 2012 at 02:33 PM
So the planning commission thinks that another Starbucks is one too many. What were they thinking when they approved another large chain drug store! Isn't Rite Aid enough on the same street just a block apart??? What is the "limit" on large chains? Where were the small town values when this was approved??
Karen Rodgers May 23, 2012 at 04:34 PM
I applaud the planning commission for their loyalty and support of our small business owners! Well done...Yes!... these kind, enthusiastic professionals are among the most generous among us, constantly "giving back" by both donating to our schools, philanthropic efforts, community activities and often taking part in them. We must preserve their shops' charm & uniqueness and give back to them through visiting their establishments!! "No" to another chain storefront/ monopoly!
Joseph Gendroni May 27, 2012 at 11:09 PM
this is just crazy, nice job!
JW June 06, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Did they appeal?
MAUREEN STEINER June 13, 2012 at 07:14 PM
The statement issued by Starbucks recently regarding the increase in traffic for neighboring businesses is certainly true. I watched the original Starbucks go in when we all felt horror for their neighbor - then "Anderson's Bakery." We feared for the bakery, but what we saw was that Anderson's business went WAY UP as a spillover from Starbucks. People came to the Starbucks destination, but many ended up patronizing the neighboring businesses. The Bakery even introduced a small breakfast menu which was hugely popular. Now, it has full breakfast and lunch service. Lest anyone think I am against our "small town values," let me set you straight. I was on the PC and led much of the effort to get our "Fast Food Ordinance" and our Historic Preservation Ordinance approved by City Council. We failed to convince councils to this day to change our density and floor area ratio requirements to something more in line with other California cities (ours are the most generous in the State) and that is why you see the constant teardown of small properties and development not of just a replacement unit, but of multiple units. Hence, the increase in density, traffic, and loss of character. Let's focus on getting traffic of of Orange and getting bikeways on Orange. Far safer for all and returns our main street to locals and pedestrians. Let's get a fun and easy way to get in to town so you don't have to drive your own car and fight for parking. These ideas Mainstreet should really get behind.
MAUREEN STEINER June 13, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Absolutely correct, Charles. Problem is, we don't have a "Chain Store Ordinance" like we do "Fast Food Ordinance." Mayor at time and his City Attorney not willing/knowledgeable enough to take it on. Irony is, the FFO has a prohibition on using "landmark corners;" guess what corner that was based on! Maybe the next Council would want to reexamine the idea. Ask BEFORE you vote for mayor and council. We want real ideas, not just rhetoric, about saving our small town values!

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