Yucaipa will be gaining a Dutch Bros. Coffee Stand on Yucaipa Boulevard.

At the Nov. 4 Planning Commission meeting, a Conditional Use Permit for a coffee stand and drive-through located on the northwest corner of 13th Street and Yucaipa Boulevard was discussed. Assistant Planner Madeline Jordan presented the item to the commissioners. The commissioners approved the project with a 4 - 1 vote.

On Jan. 13 the city council approved a minor General Plan Amendment (GPA) to change the land use designation of approximately 1.67 acres adjacent to the Crafton Hills Fire Station from IN (institutional) and P (parks) to CG (General Commercial) to support future uses.

Jordan said, “This is for an establishment for an 871 square foot coffee stand with a drive-through.”

Jordan continued with, “Access will be provided from 13th Street and there will be landscaped slopes and a drainage basin in the center of the site. Street improvements will be provided where necessary and there will be no indoor seating which is a typical of a Dutch Bros Coffee; however, there will be a walk-up window with a canopy area with outdoor seating on the outside to accommodate for potential patrons that might visit from surrounding recreational facilities.”

Planning Commissioner Vice Chair Denise Work was concerned about the parking spaces being blocked with the drive-through patrons during the peak hours (before and after school) and thought the design could be flipped where the parking was in a different location.

Work said, “This is a good spot and I think you are going to do really well but this traffic circulation could become quite an issue. I’m not inclined to give an approval tonight on this and would like to have some other alternatives (in regards to parking/flow of traffic).”

Assistant Engineer Katrina Jaimes interjected, “I want to point out a few things because it sounds to me like you are concerned about the ingress and egress off of 13th Street and you might want to consider off of Yucaipa Boulevard.”

Jaimes continued with, “I do need to point out things that engineering would be concerned with moving it along Yucaipa Boulevard. That would be the existence of the bus stop that is on the south side of the property, we wouldn’t want a driveway approach going through that bus stop.”

Assistant City Engineer Landon Kern said, “No vehicles on 13th Street could block the area which would be a requirement for the easement to allow fire truck access in and out of the area.”

Kern continued with,  “For the traffic that will be leaving the Dutch Bros Coffee parking area, they will have the option to turn left at Chapman Heights Road and exit in that fashion or turn right whereas it could be difficult at peak traffic times during the day.”

Planning Commissioner Chair JR Allgower said, “I love the project.”

Allgower continued with, “I think it would be a great thing for the city of Yucaipa. I would like to see it come in.”

Planning Commissioner Lloyd Rekstad stated, “It is possible to have a traffic study done after it (the building) is in place if there is a real traffic problem there.”

Kern answered him that it could.

Planning Commissioner Aron Wolfe said, “I’m excited for this project.”

Wolfe continued with, “I’ve been to other Dutch Bros in Oregon and they have great coffee and it is a different feeling down there versus driving through a Starbucks or some other place. I agree with Denise and I don’t know if we can condition it or not. During certain hours, why can’t we say you can only do a right-hand turn between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. for example. And we do the same thing for the evening. So no left turn between this time and this time just like no parking between this time and this time and the rest of the day doesn’t matter. I like the project.”

It was suggested to look at a wider drive approach and exit with one lane to enter the facility and two to exit with one being for a left turn exit only and the other a right turn exit only.

Allgower said, “I want to see this project get approved and move on. I am comfortable with the fact that we have let Landon Kern know about our issues and to have the engineering department go back and look at this again. Then between them and the developer to come up with a solution.”

Wolfe said, “It seems like the applicant and our city staff are not quite understanding the concerns of the planning commission. This is a beautiful project and everything about the project we all love, where the parking spots are, everything.”

Work said, “I agree with Wolfe and Allgower but as Commissioner Rekstad said before, a traffic study will not do us any good right now with the schools not in session. I know right now this (traffic issue) will later be a problem.”

Wolfe felt that once sports start back up, what we see in the traffic today is not what the city will see when school is back in session and the sports are back on track a year from now.

Allgower made a motion to approve the project as is but make minor site revisions that would abate some of the traffic concerns that would resolve the concerns of the exit from this facility to make it as efficient and safe as possible.

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