The Turlock City Planning Commission unanimously passed two resolutions on Thursday that will allow Campus Crest LCC to move forward with their plan to construct a 10-building private dorm facility across from California State University, Stanislaus.
The planned facility would be located between Dels Lane and Crowell Road at 900 and 950 Monte Vista Avenue. The Commission found that there would be no negative environmental impact of the project on the surrounding area of Turlock.
They also approved to re-zone the area to allow for more dwelling units per acre. The project can now be presented in front of Turlock City Council for approval.
The private dorm facility, called The Grove, would house up to 504 students in two and three bedroom apartments. Residents would rent an individual room, rather than the entire apartment, and have their own bedroom and bathroom. They would share kitchen and living room spaces within the apartment. This design is similar to the current on-campus housing offered by CSU Stanislaus, where students live in either suites or apartments.
Campus Crest has 18 operational private dorms, all called The Grove. The Grove in Turlock is expected to include a clubhouse, pool, pavilion, volleyball courts, a barbecue area, basketball courts, and 538 un-covered parking spaces. Future plans for the facility would include a commercial element that compliments a university setting, such as a cafe or bookstore.
During the public questions and comments time at Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting, John Minior, who lives near the project site, expressed concern that traffic making a left-hand turn into The Grove could cause a back up on Dels Lane. He asked why there were not any exits on Monte Vista Avenue.
“My concern is that I won’t even be able to back out of my driveway,” Minior said.
Mike Pitcock, Turlock city engineer, said that they do not expect any major traffic problems in the area. He explained that the entrance gates for the community are on side streets rather than on Monte Vista Avenue because it is not a good idea to have intersections on a busy street. He said that cars would have to be backed up about eight deep to interfere with Minior’s driveway, and they do not expect any rush-hour traffic in or out of the complex.
Other Turlock residents raised concerns about noise, and a need for more police enforcement in the area. Jamie Flynn, regional development partner for Campus Crest Developments, was on-hand to address concerns from both the Planning Commission and Turlock community members about The Grove project. She said that The Grove has rules in place to regulate alcohol use and noise within the housing project.
Students are required as part of their lease to follow quiet hours from 10 p.m. until 10 a.m. No residents of The Grove are allowed to consume alcohol outdoors. Alcohol use is not permitted for students under the age of 21, but Flynn said that The Grove can not regulate what students over the age of 21 do in the privacy of their own apartment. Flynn said that The Grove has rules in place to reduce the amount of policing necessary at its facilities. The Grove also has a three strikes rule in place.
“If students violate that rule, we kick them out,” Flynn said.
Mike Brem, chairman of the Turlock Planning Commission, said that the Monte Vista Avenue site has had several proposed housing projects since he has been on the commission. He said that The Grove is the optimal project for the area.
“Considering all of the projects we have seen over time, this is the best one so far,” Brem said.
Soraya Fregosi, a member of the planning commission, raised concern that the current on-campus housing offered by CSU Stanislaus is only 85 percent occupied. Flynn said that there was still a demand for affordable housing and services offered by Campus Crest LCC. CSUS declined to comment to the Turlock Planning Commission about the proposed private dorms project.
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