Campbell residents circulate petition against In-N-Out

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A group of residents has beef with a proposed plan to bring an In-N-Out restaurant near a major thoroughfare.

Residents of the Hamann Park Neighborhood have rallied together to form Citizens for Sensible Growth. The group is circulating a petition online opposing the burger chain’s proposal for a location with a drive-through at the corner of Hamilton Avenue and Almarida Drive. It was the site of an Elephant Bar, which closed last fall.

“This is not about In-N-Out,” said resident Vince Navarra. ” This is about so much more. This is not a good fit for the neighborhood.”

The Hamann Park Neighborhood has more than 3,800 residents, according to the group. It is a mix of San Jose and Campbell residents bordered by Hamilton Avenue, Highway 17 and Interstate 880, Moorpark Avenue and Winchester Boulevard.

The group has kicked off a campaign that it hopes will ultimately see the city deny the proposal. The group attended a neighborhood meeting on July 26, with more than 40, according to Navarra.

In-N-Out submitted an application to the city in June to demolish the former building that housed the Elephant Bar at 499 E. Hamilton Ave., near the Highway 17 exit. The plan includes a new 3,800-square-foot building with a drive-through, 60 parking spaces, a dining area that would seat 84 and a 40-seat outdoor patio.

The online petition argues the proposed restaurant would increase traffic in the area and in residential neighborhoods.

Project opponents worry traffic will worsen with long lines spilling out from In-N-Out’s drive through.

According to the city, a traffic impact analysis is being prepared by a third-party consultant. The analysis will study intersections from Winchester Boulevard to Bascom Avenue, the traffic flow through Hamilton Avenue, the restaurant’s vehicle queuing capacity and impacts to residential streets behind the proposed project.

“We have worked with the traffic consultant. The traffic study will begin after Labor Day to account for school traffic,” senior planner Daniel Fama told this newspaper.

The online petition also argues the neighborhood has too many fast-food locations in the area.

Citizens for Sensible Growth plans to submit the petition to the mayors of Campbell and San Jose and the Campbell planning commission. Fama said the petition would be put into the public record if submitted to the city.

Before the planning commission votes on the project, a site and architectural review committee will review it. The planning commission’s vote will be final unless appealed to the city council.

“We would like to keep our neighborhood the way it is,” Navarra said.

The city is collecting public comment via an online forum found on the city’s website. It can be accessed bit.ly/2vJ4X8X



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