CONCORD -- Reminiscent of the days when a Starbucks could be found on nearly every corner in many big cities, one could open just down the street from an existing location.

Lamorinda Development and Investment, an Orinda-based firm, has applied to build a 2,000-square-foot coffee shop with a drive-through lane at the busy intersection of Treat Boulevard and Clayton Road.

The long vacant 12,676-square-foot corner lot at 4290 Clayton Road, is just west of the Starbucks at 4375 Clayton Road, one of nine Concord locations of the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain.

The entrance to the coffee shop faces an equipment rental business to the west of the site. The drive-through lane, with space for about eight vehicles to line up, will wrap around the building in a counterclockwise direction from the parking lot, along Treat Boulevard, to the pickup window which will face Clayton Road. The current design includes 21 parking spaces, although one or two stalls could be removed to accommodate outdoor seating, according to Frank Abejo, Concord senior planner.

The city hasn't asked the developer to produce a traffic study, but could do so before approving the project.

"No, we're not requiring one right now. We're asking for some information on a similar drive-thru facility as close as possible to conditions at this site," Abejo said.


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Victor Chiang, of Lamorinda Development and Investment, declined to comment on the project.

The Design Review Board has held several study sessions to review plans for the proposed Starbucks. Initially, board members were not satisfied with the design, which they described as "boxy." They encouraged Lamorinda Development and Investment to come up with a "dynamic" design for the side of the building that faces Clayton Road.

"They felt it was important to have something that played up its corner location," Abejo said.

In response, the developer stepped up the height of the building at the corner. The board recommended approval at the Aug. 14 meeting.

The developer needs a use permit for the drive-through lane, which requires approval from the Planning Commission. Once city staffers review the revised plans and determine that the application complete, the commission will hold a public hearing on the project, which could be scheduled in November, Abejo said.

If approved, this would be the third Starbucks with a drive-thru lane in Concord, according to Abejo.

Lisa P. White covers Concord and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.

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