The city’s Development Review Board gave the green light for the construction of a Whataburger at the intersection of Alameda Boulevard and San Pedro Drive. The May 4 decision approves a 2,999-square-foot restaurant to be built on a 1.001-acre lot just west of Tin Can Alley.
According to the DRB’s Official Notification of Decision, Sustainability Engineering Group, LLC, based out of Scottsdale, Arizona, is the company requesting to build on the site. The DRB document states that the now-vacant lot was “formally occupied by a 3,000 GFA square foot restaurant (Building 1) on the original Site Plan approval which was not constructed.”
The proposed building will be 22 feet high, will include 33 parking spaces and approximately 8,380 square feet of landscaping. According to the DRB document, a maximum height of 65 feet for the building is permitted, and only 24 parking spaces are required, including two electric vehicle spaces.
Restaurant adds to concerns of overdevelopment
In an April 19 interview, Peggy Neff, who is against overdevelopment in the area, said the Whataburger is not an appropriate fit. “On San Pedro and Alameda they’re putting in a drive-thru. It is already a compromised intersection,” she said. “It is some of the last developable land with incredible views and they’re putting in a Whataburger?”
According to Neff, the North Valley Plan and North I-25 sector plan that were later repealed and replaced by the current Integrated Development Ordinance, did not envision commercial buildings north of Paseo Del Norte. The IDO became effective in 2019 and is updated annually, but Neff is concerned those updates don’t take previous agreements into consideration and give developers more leeway without enough public input. She said the IDO allows for spot zoning, which was previously not allowed.
“That’s all the IDO is now with the amendment process that goes on annually,” Neff said. “People look at one or two properties and say we need to be able to do this here, and we need to be able to do that there, so we write a little amendment, and it’s not good for the community. It’s good for the developer, though.”
Neff is also concerned the eastbound bus stop in front of the proposed Whataburger will have to be removed. “It’s not a big thing, but the city is always talking about improving public transportation,” she said.
According to the DRB document, “The City’s existing infrastructure and public improvements, including but not limited to its street, trail, drainage, and sidewalk systems, have adequate capacity to serve the proposed development, and any burdens on those systems have been mitigated to the extent practicable.”
On April 7, construction crews could be seen widening Alameda between San Pedro and Louisiana. That project is slated to be complete by May 23. A timeline for construction and completion of the Whataburger is currently unavailable.