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Residents oppose dorm development

POSTED August 7, 2009 10:52 p.m.
Campus Crest Development’s proposed privately-owned and operated dorms for California State University, Stanislaus, students will be chief among the list of the Turlock City Council’s agenda items on Tuesday evening.
The gated 504-bedroom development, known as “The Grove,” is slated for West Monte Vista Avenue between Dels Lane and Crowell Road, just north of CSUS. The complex would feature 10 three-story buildings, a clubhouse, pool, pavilion, volleyball court, barbecue area, basketball court, and parking.
According to city documents, the CSUS Facilities manager indicated that the University’s own dorms had an 85 percent occupancy rate in the 2008-2009 school year. CSUS staff stated they were not permitted to either endorse or oppose the Campus Crest project.
The Grove plan also includes a 2.3 acre commercial component along the West Monte Vista Avenue frontage. Neighborhood stores such as cafes, bookstores, and salons would be expected tenants, while drive-through restaurants and auto-related services would be banned.
In order for the project to proceed, the council must approve an amendment to the General Plan to rezone the project parcels from Medium Density Residential to High Density Residential, and approve a planned development.
The city has received four letters from nearby residents lobbying against The Grove, guaranteeing public comment come Tuesday evening. Most complaints centered around potential increases in traffic caused by the two gated entrances on Crowell Road and Dels Lane, destructive effects on the character of the neighborhood and property values, and construction noise.
Analysis conducted by Campus Crest has determined that noise and traffic increases would be relatively insignificant. City staff is recommending approval of the project.

Development Services office hours could decrease
The council will consider a reduction in front counter hours for the city’s Engineering and Planning and Building departments this Tuesday.
Under the proposal, the front desk would only be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and would be closed all day Friday. Scheduled appointments would still be available.
The Development Services Department was hit hard in recent budget cutbacks, losing many employees. The remaining staff members are now having their working hours taken up by front desk tasks, causing a backlog in accepting and processing permit applications.
The staff report states that employees need the personal blocks of time generated by the proposed hours of operation in order to process applications and complete day-to-day responsibilities without interruption.

Bike fees could increase
Bicycle registration fees may be going up in the City of Turlock, as an agenda item before the Turlock City Council would increase the cost of bicycle licenses and stickers from $3 to $4.
Turlock expects to generate an additional $160 per year in bicycle registration fees, which will be allocated to operational costs of administering the licensing program.

Industrial wastewater overage fines to be reconsidered

Under City of Turlock guidelines, businesses classified as “significant industrial wastewater dischargers” purchase their wastewater capacity in advance. When a business exceeds their purchased capacity, the Turlock Municipal Code allows the City to impose a penalty.
For the first time in several years, two Turlock businesses — Mission Linen and Paul Santos Dairy Towel Service — exceeded their purchased wastewater capacity.
Under current rules, Mission Linen would be charged $20,753 for the excess, while Paul Santos Dairy Towel Service would owe $13,065.62.
As monthly wastewater bills for the businesses are $1,658.08 and $907.09, respectively, city staff feels the fines might be a bit excessive. Staff is recommending council charge only 10 percent of the suggested fines, levying a $2,075.30 fine to Mission Linen and a $1,306.55 charge to Paul Santos Dairy Towel Service.
Additionally, Paul Santos Dairy Towel Service will look to relinquish their rights to reserved wastewater capacity and forego their designation as a significant industrial wastewater customer, instead paying for wastewater as they use it.
The City of Turlock looks to pay Paul Santos Dairy Towel Service $98,120.42 to buy back their wastewater capacity, which the city will then sell to a different significant industrial user.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, located at 156 S. Broadway.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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