Fight brews over proposed Starbucks drive-thru

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Developers want to build a Starbucks drive-thru on one of Albuquerque’s busiest streets. The city is concerned about even more congestion at Coors and Montano, but the developer isn’t giving up yet.

“It’s the perfect opportunity — perfect location,” said Alberto Luna of Albuquerque.

Local coffee lovers seemed excited Monday by the prospect of a new drive-thru on the southeast corner of the busy intersection.

“We’re in a world of convenience so I think it would do well,” added Ryan Cast of Albuquerque.

It would be the sixth Starbucks in a seven-mile stretch of Coors from Cottonwood to I-40, and the third drive-thru.

However, not everyone is on board with the idea.

“I think it’s one of the last places honestly in this area along Coors that’s underdeveloped,” stated Molly Cowan of Albuquerque. “It’s right by the entrance to the Bosque so it would be really nice if that was just left open.”

The city’s Environmental Planning Commission agrees, recently panning the plan, saying it is too close to the Bosque and would add to the traffic at Coors and Montano.

It says the extra cars from the drive-thru would be too dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists traveling near the Bosque, the school and Open Space Trail.

In an appeal, the developer argues the store would be more than 1,000 feet from the Bosque and school, reducing the risk from added traffic.

Silverleaf Ventures wants City Council to overturn the EPC’s unanimous decision to allow the drive-thru service near other developments under construction, including a Sprouts grocery store set to be finished in the spring.

City Council and the Planning Department’s land use hearing officer will hear the appeal next week.

The city created the restriction on drive-thrus and gas stations for that site back in 2005.

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