WATSONVILLE — The Watsonville Planning Commission approved a drive-thru Starbucks in the Watsonville Square Shopping Center Tuesday, one of two such coffee shops in the works for the city.
The commission voted 5-1 for the project, with Commissioner Jenny Sarmiento dissenting.
According to Principal Planner Justin Meek, the project will convert a currently vacant medical space at 1992 Main St. into a Starbucks with outside seating and a drive-thru lane. The 2,100-square-foot space is located in a larger building that houses the Cork and Bottle liquor store.
The addition of a drive-thru lane will eliminate a “handful” of parking spots in the shopping center, Meek said, but will still put the project well over the city’s parking requirements.
Sarmiento said she was concerned about the environmental impacts of idling cars in the drive-thru lane.
“I’m a little uncertain about that,” she said. “It doesn’t seem to flow with the goal of reducing emissions and making sure the environment is clean.”
A drive-thru Starbucks coffee shop has also been confirmed as one of the tenants in a retail and hotel development on the corner of Lee Road and West Beach Street.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the commission approved the relocation of Osuna Auto Electric and Small Engine Repair from 246 Walker St. to 131 Walker St. Ed Acosta and Jenna Rodriguez were also welcomed as new commissioners.