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Neighbors not bowled over by fun center plan

POSTED October 26, 2010 9:53 p.m.

A proposed Turlock family entertainment center, including a bowling alley, has drawn opposition from nearby residents concerned with noise levels.

The 51,828 sq. ft. Ten Pin Fun Center project, planned for an “L”-shaped patch of vacant land behind the Rite Aid shopping center at the corner of Crowell Road and Monte Vista Avenue, would include 34 bowling lanes, a multi-level laser tag arena, an arcade, six banquet rooms for parties, two bocce ball courts, and a sports bar and grill with a two-story jumbotron and patio seating.

Myra DeMartini, a Turlocker living less than half a mile from the proposed development, is concerned with the sound all that merriment might generate.

“We just don’t want no more noise,” DeMartini said. “We don’t want no more construction in this area.”

DeMartini, who suffers from a serious inner ear problem and is susceptible to high noise levels, previously had issues when the nearby Rite Aid Pharmacy was constructed. She and her husband, Ken DeMartini, spent $4,000 on construction at that time, adding sound-deadening and dual pane windows to drown out the sound.

Last summer, the DeMartinis moved out of their home for three months because the noise became too loud to bear. But with 27 years remaining on their mortgage, a permanent move seems unlikely.

“There’s no way that my wife can make it if they put that center in over there,” Ken DeMartini said.

According to Turlock Planning Manager Debbie Whitmore, the Ten Pin Fun Center project has thus far followed all city code related to noise.  Noise analyses have been performed on both construction noise and sound resulting from usage. Feedback from those studies has been incorporated into the project’s design.The project would also be subject to standard ordinances banning construction between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays and between 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. on weekends and holidays.But Myra DeMartini says those regulations weren’t followed during the Rite Aid construction. She said workers would be out at 2 a.m. and 6 p.m., producing such noise that it shook pictures and put cracks in her wallsWhitmore said any violations of city ordinances would be dealt with by the Turlock Building and Engineering Departments, as well as Turlock Police Code Enforcement. DeMartini said the police took too long to arrive when she called during the Rite Aid construction.The developers, Central Valley Property Investments, LLC, say they’ve been proactive in mitigating noise concerns. Landscape buffers should cut noise, and full time security won’t tolerate noisy patrons, CVPI representatives said at a September meeting held to address public concerns.

Larry Murray, a neighbor of the DeMartinis who is also concerned with noise and attended that meeting, wasn’t satisfied with the response.

They said, ‘Well they can control that,’ but they can’t control that,” Murray said.

The DeMartinis and Murray are quick to note that they don’t oppose the project, they simply want it built somewhere else.Myra DeMartini describes her development, just across the street from California State University, Stanislaus, as a “troubled neighborhood” rife with parties. On a scale from 1 to 10, the noise would be a 20, she said.

The problems have become so constant the Myra DeMartini has a dedicated contact at the Turlock Police Department to report nonstop noise violations.

“We’re asking for quietness,” DeMartini said. “Turlock needs to get the problem with the noise under control in this area before they consider bringing anything else.

“Unless you’ve been here and you’ve lived here, you have no idea what we’re going through”

The Turlock Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the fate of the Ten Pin Fun Center at their regularly scheduled 7 p.m. Nov. 4 meeting. The Planning Commission meets in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.

To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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