Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the unincorporated aspects of where the proposed location is in Washington County and to clarify an October 2022 pre-application conference.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The effort to open another popular burger chain in the Portland metro area continued earlier this year after a proposed location application was denied last year.
In-N-Out Burger, the California-based restaurant chain known for its cheeseburgers, animal fries and milkshakes, has considered expanding to the Beaverton area in unincorporated Washington County for more than three years.
In-N-Out’s application to construct a Beaverton area location was denied in August 2022 by an independent hearings officer, but not because of the community members’ concerns. Instead, an independent hearings officer denied the application due to a land-use issue.
A Washington County spokesperson explained to KOIN 6 that the proposed site was split between a Commercial Business District that allows drive-thru restaurants, and an Office Commercial district that typically prohibits drive-thrus.
“Specifically, the applicant failed to demonstrate that the proposal to utilize the OC-zoned portions of the site for excess drive-thru vehicle storage during the potentially multi-year ‘opening’ period is allowed as a permitted, accessory, or temporary use,” the independent hearings officer’s notice of decision reads.
However, In-N-Out has launched plans to challenge the independent hearings officer’s decision.
On May 12, the chain filed a motion to appeal the decision with the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA).
According to Washington County’s Melissa De Lyser, no further information is available until In-N-Out submits an opening brief for the appeal.
“Washington County is awaiting the opening brief from In-N-Out in the LUBA appeal,” De Lyser said in an email to KOIN 6 News. “Until that is received, we don’t have any information.”
In the summer of 2020, the company attended a pre-application conference after submitting the application in February 2020 to discuss opening a location at 10565 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy. Later in December of that year, an In-N-Out Burger leadership team met with Beaverton area residents to deliberate on the proposed location.
During that meeting, and the discussions that followed, locals expressed their concerns about a spike in traffic on Southwest Beaverton Hillsdale Highway and the surrounding neighborhood — which already hosts a Chick-fil-a drive-thru.
According to the Portland Tribune, an In-N-Out project manager said the company established an overflow plan that would accommodate 43 vehicles before interfering with the nearby highway. Still, residents questioned whether the new fast food chain would positively impact the community or make their roads more congested.
A pre-application conference request was held in October 2022, but no new application has been submitted, a Washington County spokesperson clarified.
KOIN 6 News has reached out to In-N-Out Burger for comment.