Dec 3, 2013 1:23 AM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Cal Poly holds another public forum to get community's input on plans to build new dorms

Dozens of concerned San Luis Obispo residents showed up to a second public forum held Monday night at Cal Poly to express their concerns about a new dorm complex in the works. The university wants to construct dorm buildings to house 1,400 students. A 300-car parking garage is also in the proposal. The plan is to build the project at the Grand avenue entrance of the school. At Monday's meeting, held in the University Union, the university says it was better prepared with answers to questions the public had, like how it came about choosing the site location of Grand Avenue and Slack Street. The university was also able to go more in-depth on the environmental impact this project could have on the community. Cal Poly said it looked at multiple locations on campus, but the current flat parking lot on Grand Avenue and Slack Street, it said, is the best location to build new dorms for first-year students because it's close to classrooms and dining halls. But, a lot of residents who live near that area say they're concerned about traffic, noise, and more students running around late at night through their neighborhood. "I feel that the spot that they're looking to put the new dorms in is not the right spot. And, I think I speak for a lot of my neighbors, I certainly think that there are other options and I feel that Cal Poly is trying to work with us, but I think that we need a little bit more time to do everything. I feel that everything was kind of rushed," said Hayley Townley, a resident of San Luis Obispo. Third-year student Joi Sullivan said, "I do see both sides, from a student's perspective, as someone that understands student life down there, but also understands community life and what they're looking for. I think the forum's great. I think it's hard for the university to give them, you know, they're making a lot of requests, they're making a lot of demands, but the university can't necessarily give them an exact answer right now." Most residents said they're supportive of Cal Poly's initiative to house more students on campus, they just want the university to build the dorms farther in the foothills and not so close to houses on Slack Street. Cal Poly said about 30% of students currently live on campus, and the university Cal Poly said it's taking all of the comments from Monday night's meeting into consideration. The environmental impact report on the project was released last Monday, and will be finalized on January 9. Some residents asked the university if they could get more time to give more public comment on the project before it gets finalized by the CSU Board of Trustees in March.  



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