After much debate, In-N-Out is officially coming to Rancho Mirage.
The Rancho Mirage City Council voted 4-0 to bring the burger chain to the Rancho Las Palmas Shopping Center on Highway 111 and Magnesia Falls. Mayor ProTem G. Dana Hobart recused himself from the vote.
People who live in the area are still fighting back, voicing their concerns they believe the popular restaurant will bring. Many residents in today’s meeting wore “Residents over revenue” shirts as they took the podium during public comment.
City officials said the In-N-Out will bring business and new, six-figure jobs.
“This will be 50 new jobs in really good-paying jobs,” Katie Stice, executive director for the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce.
Traffic has been a major issue for those opposed to the restaurant.
“We’re very concerned about the number of cars coming through the late-night hours,” said Julie Scorziell, owner of property near In-N-Out site.
The planning commission’s traffic count determined that traffic in the intersections near the restaurant will not be significantly impacted during peak PM hours. Traffic counts for the area were conducted in August.
Earlier this week, residents went to the site of the new restaurant and held a protest, saying fast food restaurants don’t fit the city’s image.
“Rancho Mirage has a certain reputation, I bought here because of that reputation and it doesn’t include fast food. It doesn’t represent our persona,” said Maggie Lockridge, a Magnesia Falls resident.
The drive-thru is going to wrap around the parking lot.
Residents in the neighborhood with property about 200 feet away said they are already experiencing financial losses as a result.
Scorziell said owns an empty lot right up the street from the shopping center. He’s hoping to eventually sell it. He says he had an offer on the table that was withdrawn when the buyers heard the plans for an In-N-Out.
“We are seeing first-hand that we lost a sale and obviously it was because our property no longer had the value. It did before the in and out wasn’t coming,” Scorziell said.
Some residents said it’s not the restaurant they have an issue with but the location and proximity to homes that are the issue.
Rancho Mirage currently prohibits fast-food restaurants from areas like the one where it has now been approved, but In-N-Out worked with the planning commission on a conditional use permit to alter that ordinance.
Those upset with the council’s decision are now planning to sue the city.
Stay with News Channel 3 for any updates.