Costa Mesa council OKs Starbucks after a latte discord

Eastside Costa Mesa is about to get another Starbucks, the third in about a 2-mile stretch off 17th Street, but this one is different.

This one has a drive-through.

Housed with what used to be a credit union, the location at 450 E. 17th St. was not without controversy.

"More than 60 residents of Cabrillo Street have written letters to the City Council opposing the (drive-through) aspect of the proposed Starbucks," Councilwoman Wendy Leece wrote in a request to review the project.

The Planning Commission approved the shop last month. There is a Starbucks about half a mile west down the street and one about a mile to the east off Irvine Avenue in Newport Beach.

"We support a Starbucks and possibly a restaurant moving into the proposed address, but we are strongly opposed to a drive through being permitted here…" wrote Vicki Wadman, who lives on Cabrillo, a residential street behind the location.

Residents said they were concerned about noise, pollution and traffic, among other things.

But after working with the city and residents, Starbucks officials said they should be able to accommodate most of those worries.

The company will install trees lining the back wall to help block the view and noise to homeowners, add a foot to the dividing wall so it stands 8 feet tall, will make the drive-through lane longer to accommodate more cars and eliminate traffic conflicts between incoming and outgoing traffic onto the lot.

The store will be in what was formerly the Schools First Federal Credit Union. The adjoining property could become a restaurant, city officials said.

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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