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Neighbors protest student apartment project
apartments pic1
Property on Monte Vista Avenue that was originally supposed to house a bowling alley could soon be the location of a four-story student housing complex. - photo by KRISTINA HACKER / The Journal

Neighbors are up in arms at the prospect of a four-floor apartment complex that could be built near California State University, Stanislaus for student housing making it the tallest apartments in Turlock.

Coleraine Capital Group and AMCAL Equities are spearheading the project that would require rezoning of the property next to Prime Shine Car Wash and behind Rite-Aid Pharmacy from commercial use to high-density residential use to accommodate a potential gated community of four buildings, a clubhouse and parking lot.

While no official plans have been submitted to the City of Turlock, the developers hosted a neighborhood meeting on Jan. 27 to gauge the community’s response to the proposed student housing complex on Monte Vista Avenue between Crowell Road and Dels Lane.

“We always recommend when there is a General Plan amendment and rezoning at stake that they meet with the community before they submit anything official to the City,” said City of Turlock Deputy Director of Development Services Debra Whitmore.

According to David Moon, president of Coleraine Capital Group, it is also the company’s protocol to meet with neighbors prior to beginning any project.

“The neighborhood meeting is often the best source of information,” said Moon. “We are seeking input so that we can refine this to make it something that would be a positive for everyone, including immediate neighbors.”

However, not all neighbors are on board.

Patrick Jensen, owner of Paul’s Glass who has family that would be impacted by the construction of the apartments, voiced his concerns at the community workshop and is starting a coalition to stop the construction of the apartments which would include 680 bedrooms and 560 parking spaces. Jensen also posted a sign on the wall bordering the property proposed for development that states “No 4 Story Apt Here! Call 209-620-4741.”

“Our whole deal is that it needs to be conducive with the area, even if that’s two-story single family dwellings,” said Jensen. “We have to be open to allowing a certain something going in there, but not the tallest buildings in Turlock looking down into these peoples' best yard.”

The student-only complex aims to provide an off-campus living  similar to the inclusive on-campus experience, said Moon. The complex would include community assistants on each floor, study rooms, a computer lab, basketball courts and a shuttle that goes to and from the campus as well as locations within the community. While Moon said it is too early to release rent rates, he said they will be comparable to what students presently pay to live on campus at CSUS. The rate for a freshman at CSUS to live in a single room for the 2015-2016 academic school year is $7,120.87, not including meal plan costs.

According to CSUS Associate Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs Tim Lynch, the university is aware of the potential project and is looking into implications for the campus.

Moon said that the company has made changes to the site plans after hearing the community’s feedback and intends to submit updated plans to the City within the next three to four weeks.