Cal Poly extends deadline for comments on proposed dorm

jhickey@thetribunenews.comDecember 14, 2013 

Residents have three more weeks to let Cal Poly know how they feel about a dorm proposed for the Grand Avenue entrance to the campus.

In response to residents’ complaints, the public comment period has been extended to Jan. 24 for a report analyzing the environmental impacts of the proposed freshman dorm.

The university has held two public forums on the dorm. During the last forum, on Dec. 2, a Slack Street resident asked that the comment period be increased for the draft environmental impact report because of the holidays, which fall within the state-mandated 45 days. The city of San Luis Obispo also sent a request for an extension, said Kim Murry, the city’s deputy director of long-range planning.

Cal Poly is proposing to amend its master plan to build the project, which would consist of 1,475 beds in four- to five-story structures, plus a 300- to 500-space parking structure. The dorm would be built on approximately 12 acres of an existing parking lot at a campus border with the city.

While Cal Poly officials contend the proposed location is the most economical place to erect the dormitory, nearby residents are unhappy at the prospect of increased neighborhood problems associated with parties and drinking once the students move in.

The report lists significant impacts, including:

• The project would exceed construction and operational thresholds for reactive organic gases and nitrogen oxides, mainly because of the application of architectural coatings.

• Closing the parking lot would redistribute traffic and have significant impacts at off-campus intersections that already are at, or approaching, unacceptable levels of service.

Any comments on the environmental impact report may be sent to Nicole Carter at ncarter@swca.com. Cal Poly has posted materials related to the report as well as materials presented at the Dec. 2 forum on its website at www.calpoly.edu (click the green box under “spotlight” on the home page).

In addition to the proposed site, university officials are considering a new, as-yet-unnamed location. Cal Poly will not share the location until campus programs that may be affected are notified, university spokesman Matt Lazier said.

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