In-N-Out reconsiders Kaplan's Deli spot

COSTA MESA — In-N-Out Burger's proposal to open a second location here is still on the grill.

The Irvine-based fast-food chain with a cult-like following has a proposed location that would sit directly off the San Diego (405) Freeway at 3211 Harbor Blvd. near Gisler Avenue at the site of the shuttered Kaplan's Deli, city officials said Tuesday.

The applicant submitted plans for a drive-through with indoor and patio seating to the city in May. If approved, the new In-N-Out will be the second of two locations in Costa Mesa. Another In-N-Out is on 19th Street and Anaheim Avenue.

The second In-N-Out was approved by the Planning Commission more than a year ago, but new reports doubted that the restaurant would open due to a multitude of conditions set by the city. Costa Mesa required the fast food chain to maintain the landscape between the freeway and the restaurant, a request that wasn't taken well by the applicant, but was later agreed to, according to Daily Pilot archives.

Costa Mesa has approved all aspects of the 3,200-square-foot restaurant's planning, but two issues have to be finalized before a permit can be issued: landscaping and the construction "phasing," or schedule, said Khanh Nguyen, a Costa Mesa building official.

"In-N-Out representatives are currently working on that and will submit for approval when they are ready," Nguyen said.

Last year, the city shot down the chain's request for a 65-foot sign to lure in customers from the freeway, said Rebecca Robbins, assistant city planner. The chain had to comply with the city's zoning requirement, she said.

The applicant also had to get the California Department of Transportation's approval because its location is adjacent to the freeway, Robbins said.

"One of the conditions of approval required a wall to be constructed on the 405 off ramp and they had to work with Caltrans on the design of the wall and that is what has taken them until this time," she said.

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