Oakdale, in a series of public postings, has announced plans to develop the west side of town near Crane Road that will call for more than 1,000 homes and over 700,000 square feet of office buildings, stores and other commercial development.
Details of two Crane Crossing plans have shown two areas, totaling 262 acres, near West F Street and Crane Road.
A report to the Oakdale Planning Commission disclosed that the proposed project would result in a substantial increase in area traffic, resulting in impacts to various intersections and road segments throughout city. It also divulged that the project would … “add to air emissions in a basin that does not achieve required standards” and would “…result in traffic/transportation noise levels exceeding noise standards.”
Public hearings on the matter were held on Jan. 15 where many residents voiced their disdain with the plan. Despite the public disapproval, the planning commission forwarded the matter to the city council to be discussed at its March 3 meeting.
“We’re not happy about this,” said Oakdale resident Cheryl Folla, whose home would be affected by the commercial and high-density development. “I feel they (planning commission) ignored us and are just going to do it anyway.”
Folla said when she and her husband bought their home they were told only additional houses were going in the vacant lots surrounding them.
“We put in a pool and patio to enjoy our yard,” Folla said. “If I have an apartment complex behind me I’m going to have 20 windows looking down on me. If there’s a shopping center, we’ll be choked by diesel fumes from all the trucks.”
Linda Medeiros, who lives in the same area, said that the shopping centers would cause many problems to anyone travelling along West F Street.
“The traffic is going to be horrendous,” Medeiros said. “All these lines from all the cars and people are going to be horrible.”
Medeiros also said that the new developments are going to draw on limited city services, many of which have been cut.
“All these things need to be taken into account,” Medeiros said.
Brewster Burns of Oakdale said he’s been following the plan for over a year and questions if the city has funds for the capital improvement projects to widen the roads to be able to handle the traffic and if the city has the population to support a large retail center.
“My basic concern is the cost to the city and the impact to perform it,” said Burns. “There seems to be no cost-sharing of expenses with any of the developers for mitigation.”
Burns compared the proposed Crane development with the Crossroads Shopping Center in Riverbank, saying it was developed with wide roads and not only was designed to draw from Riverbank, but outlying areas of Modesto.
“Even widening F Street would not be acceptable to the state,” said Burns after examining the EIR and checking with Caltrans. “Why did the planning commission go forward with the resolution with so many things not in order?”
With the matter tentatively scheduled to be discussed at the March 3 city council meeting, two council members, Tom Dunlop and Farrell Jackson, have already stepped forward to state they would have to recuse themselves due to a conflict of interest due to where they reside. The matter will depend on the votes of only three members on the dais.