Walnut Creek city council approves new Chick-fil-A with conditions

The Walnut Creek City Council on Tuesday approved a new Chick-fil-A restaurant on the corner of Oak Grove Road and Citrus Avenue with one big concession to neighbors: no drive-thru.   

After more than five hours of testimony, the council denied a neighbor's appeal of the city's planning commission approval of the restaurant, planned for the Citrus Marketplace Shopping Center.   

But the council did so only by mitigating neighbors' concerns about traffic and noise by ruling out drive-thru service, which is unusual for the popular chain restaurant. Walnut Creek already has one Chick-fil-A on North Main Street, south of Geary Boulevard, that has been the subject of complaints because cars in its drive-thru line often spill out onto North Main Street.   

The new restaurant will feature only dine-in or takeout. The 5,300-square-foot franchise will replace a vacant 8,200-square-foot building in the shopping center that has seen many vacancies in recent years.   

The project was reviewed by the city's Design Review Commission in 2023 and approved by the planning commission in March 2024.     

The resident of the nearby Woodlands neighborhood who filed the appeal cited a variety of concerns, with potential traffic issues being the most significant.     

The city commissioned a licensed traffic engineering firm to evaluate the concerns about the impact to neighborhood traffic. They compared data based upon other Chick-fil-A locations, as well as evaluated current conditions at the intersection. Two other shopping centers are in the same area.   

City staff said the project met all of the zoning requirements for the shopping center. The council also adopted requirements to monitor and improve traffic and congestion issues, if necessary.