New Starbucks, McDonald's Coming to Town

The Planning Commission will review applications this Thursday, 7 p.m. at City Hall.


The city's planning and building department is recommending the approval by Planning Commission Thursday of a new Starbucks, slated for the mostly vacant parcel on the corner of Commerce Boulevard and Rohnert Park Expressway — in between Jack in the Box and Black Bear Restaurant.

The 17,000 square foot store will replace a shuttered Wendy's, according to a staff report. 

"This paved site in the Sonoma Gateway Center has been vacant for several years and distracts visually from the appearance of the shopping center from Commerce Boulevard," said Marilyn Ponton, the city's planning and building manager. "This proposal will be an attractive addition to the area."

If approved Thursday, that'll bring the number of mega coffeeshop-chains in Rohnert Park to six. There's also one in Cotati near Oliver's. Ponton's report detailed the plans for the new Starbucks — which no doubt will attract business from the sea of drivers in the morning and evening commute times.

New facade improvements are planned for the building, more parking (28 spaces), a drive-thru (to absorb up to 10 cars at a time), bike parking and new landscaping (one tree for every four parking spaces), a three-foot high screen planting around the perimeter of decorative trees and outside seating.

The plan is exempt from a California Environmental Quality Act analysis.

Starbucks is estimating serving about 70 cars per hour in the drive-thru alone, and employing six people at a time.


The addition of the giant burger chain will also go before Planning Commission Thursday night. As part of the Wildred-Dowdell Specific Plan, planning and building staff are recommending the approval of a McDonald's and Oxford Inn and Suites in the area dubbed "Village North," at Redwood and Golf Course drives.

The site is nearly five acres, more than 100,000 square feet and will have parking for 193 cars and two RVs.

The Wilfred/Dowdell Specific Plan was approved by the City Council in September 2008. It covers nearly 25 acres of new development, including a five-story, 163-room hotel and McDonald's.

We'll bring you full details after Thursday's Planning Commission. In the meantime, weigh in on what you think of the new projects! Leave your comments below or send an email to angela.hart@patch.com.

Paul Lawson April 27, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I know Jake MaKenzie reads The Patch, I sure would love to hear his two cents.
Wendy April 27, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Well..the planning commission is appointed by the City Council - interesting, I didn't know that..But also see that there are Council Members terms ending in December - time to get some new people running for City Council!!!!
Cal Watkins May 08, 2012 at 03:00 PM
One thing the above comments seem to be missing....Starbucks and Mc D"s wouldn't bother if there weren't a "Demand", aka they have done their business homework and deem there to be a market for it...which would turn it into a convenience factor for locals. Personally I would rather see another Peets on the east side as well as a decent Restaurant but these two ideas must not be in the current business model of those companies. Instead of complaining I will patronize it if I choose to....same for the Casino...All you folks who don't want these types of businesses, if the demand isn't there they will go away...if the demand is there who are you to be so selfish as to not want them for others.....
RC June 03, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I agree with Wendy. I honestly think the community needs to come together and go to the council members that are "supposedly working for the citizens" and give our inputs. I only reside here part time; but I really care for the quiet and family oriented community. Many other towns and cities have officials that do more to protect and make better decisions for their cities' investment projects.
Bee Ben June 07, 2013 at 12:06 AM
I guess nobody noticed that the plan all along was to close the Starbucks next to Safeway. Worst thing about it was that it was a gathering place for the homeless and associated troublemakers. There were more of them using the tables outside, than actual Starbucks customers.


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