What is behind the development issues in the City of Rialto?


So yesterday we issued a story on the fact that soon we would have five McDonalds in the City of Rialto. What we found out through comments on Facebook and conversations with city staff is that it looks like the planning department is allowing the franchise owner of the McDonalds on Foothill to vacate that space and build a new location on Cedar & Foothill.

Later in the meeting Ed Scott called out the community opposition to this development stating that the city can’t dictate or block businesses that are developed on private land he stated it would put the city in a tough spot, Joe Baca Jr. also echoed this statement. These two elected officials said that if McDonalds wants to build 10 of their fast food restaurants in rialto we can’t stop them. Well both these men have Facebook pages and I challenge them to engage with the large amounts of community members who disagree with this statement. People want better food choices and if they only can find those near the Super Walmart and the new retail pad at the old airport site we will continue to depress the other parts of Rialto.

We spoke to Rob Steel Development Services Director and he said that McDonalds Corporate was the one building the new location and that they were going to allow the franchise owner from the other foothill location to move into the new building. The problem we now have is there is a old empty building that will attract homeless, vandalism and further damage the appearance of Route 66. Rob Steel said that the old McDonalds is a desirable location for businesses like Tams, Albertos and Juan Pollo. With that being said that area is becoming oversaturated with those type of food options. One thing that Robb Steal said was that the city did have some say over weather that McDonalds would be constructed there. From what we can ascertain is that they choose not to. Rialto lost a Verizon Wireless location because of this and now traffic is a nightmare.

The other development issue on tap last night was the last available pad to be developed in the In & Out Burger Center. The final pad was originally slated to host a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf plus two other small retail businesses. That changed with space constraints to just a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and then Coffee Bean saw that the city had room on the price and began asking for a series of price reductions. This boils down to the “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” syndrome. The developer saw blood in the water and was taking advantage of the situation. Well when In & Out asked to purchase the pad to create a exclusive In & Out parking area Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf just walked away. What was ironic is instead of making a sale and letting In & Out develop the parking pad it seems as though the city wants to spend the money to develop the parking pad. It looks like control is an issue here and were wondering who is going to win and at what cost to the community? It looks like we sell it to In & Out for their exclusive use or the city pays to pave it for everyone’s use.

But wait there is more…… It appears that Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf wants to steal the open pad just a stones throw away from previous site. Coucilman O’Connell said last night that the pad was prime location given its location (see image below) and that he had reservations giving Coffee Bean first stab at building on that site. Councilman O’Connell wants to make sure we get the best tenant for that location and for Rialto. From the vote he was not alone the vote was 3-2 with Councilman O’Connell & Palmer voting no to give an unfair first stab to the Coffee Bean developers.

The black box indicates the location of the new development site

The black box indicates the location of the new development site

Print this picture or show this photo on your phone when you pay for your food to be counted.

Print this picture or show this photo on your phone when you pay for your food to be counted.



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