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We like Amy's...but not a DRIVE-THRU

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

On April 23, 2019, Amy’s Drive-Thru sent several residents of Larkey Park this letter about plans to develop the Hall Equities location at 2nd Ave and N. Main.

While at first read it might seem like a better choice than the In-n-Out we opposed, the issue was never the food. The issue was, and continues to be, the fact that this location is a terrible place for a drive-thru establishment of any kind.

While we welcome the opportunity to talk to Amy’s as they’ve requested, we want to make it clear that Larkey Park Neighbors United is NOT against development in this area. We are NOT against a food and beverage establishment in this area. But we are very much opposed to a drive-thru at this location.

We appreciate Amy's reaching out to the neighborhood before submitting plans to the city. We were pleased to learn about their commitment to bettering our community by offering convenient organic/sustainable meal options in a casual moderately priced restaurant setting. We feel that such a restaurant would be a welcome addition to our community, if only those positives were not so sharply contrasted by the issues that come from a drive-thru. Amy’s is right that we are a community that is “family focused” and also values organic food options, but as such, we don’t want our children (or any area residents) exposed to the near constant toxic emissions from lines of idling cars at a popular drive-thru located directly adjacent to our established neighborhood. This lot is literally attached to the backyards of homes where many families with young children live. Added to negative impact of constantly running motors are our very real concerns about traffic safety and access. N. Main traffic is a nightmare for residents and commuters alike. Why? Because parking and drive-thru variances were given to Hall Equities for businesses right across the street. Another drive-thru will only make the traffic issues worse.

Further, putting a drive-thru off (or on) a narrow street that is a main access point for residents living in the Larkey Park neighborhood is not a benefit to residents or to your potential customers.

We intend to hold the City of Walnut Creek to its commitment to “Going Green Together” by reducing emissions and we intend to oppose any variance that allows for a drive-thru at this location.

We hope that Hall Equities will honor what they said in their press release two years ago to “...come forward with a new application for the site in the near future. Our next project proposal may not be the most dynamic, or high profile of projects, but it will be a low impact good neighbor, and it will be a use that is consistent with the established zoning parameters.”

We don’t believe that granting any business a zoning variance to put in another drive-thru on this already traffic intensive street is consistent with a “green” Walnut Creek. Nor is it being a “low impact good neighbor” to the residents and homeowners who live off N. Main in Larkey Park.

For these reasons, we hope to work closely with the developer, the city of Walnut Creek, and any business that wants to come into our community, to assure that everyone benefits from the development of this site.

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