COSTA MESA — In-N-Out Burger's proposal to open a new location in the city is cooking.
Costa Mesa issued building permits for a new In-N-Out location on Harbor Boulevard near the southbound exit of the San Diego (405) Freeway. The fast-food restaurant will sit at 3211 Harbor Blvd., the site of the shuttered Kaplan's Deli.
The city issued the grading and building permits for the hamburger chain Friday morning, said Rebecca Robbins, Costa Mesa assistant city planner. In May, In-N-Out submitted its plans to the city.
When In-N-Out first sought permission to use the location, city officials gave the OK, but struck down a request for a taller freeway sign for the restaurant to lure in customers. The city also required In-N-Out to maintain the landscape between the freeway and the restaurant, a request that the applicants at first opposed but later accepted.
In-N-Out also had to get approval from the California Department of Transportation because the 32,000-square-foot restaurant will be adjacent to the freeway.
Some residents also were concerned with the traffic the popular joint will create on Harbor, an already busy street.
But Planning Commissioner Jim Righeimer, who stayed abreast on the issue, said In-N-Out's customers will not back up on Harbor, because they will have to get to the drive-thru from Gisler Avenue.
"We're really excited about having a new In-N-Out in Costa Mesa, but most importantly, we're very happy about how In-N-Out and Caltrans and the city worked together to make sure that there would not be a possibility to have traffic stock up on Harbor," Righeimer said.
Attempts to obtain dates from In-N-Out on when construction will begin were unsuccessful.
The opening — a date has not been secured — would represent a Double-Double for In-N-Out in Costa Mesa. The first location is on 19th Street and Anaheim Avenue.