Community members filled Carnegie Forum for a Lodi Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night to voice concerns over plans to develop the existing Twin Arbors Athletic Club located on Cochran Road in Lodi into a housing subdivision.
The topic became an emotional plea for new home buyer Julia Theresa, who spent eight years searching for the perfect home to raise her family.
“We purchased this home because of the athletic facility and the closed-off street,” said Theresa, a homeowner on Cochran Road.
Many homeowners in the Sunwest area were vocal about the existing development, and the different lot sizes and curb-to-curb street sizes.
“Sunwest 1 has a CCNR stating homes must have a minimum lot size of 7,500 square feet, and I measured the our curb-to-curb distance which is 55 feet Anything less than that is not consistent with Sunwest” Kerry Hilder, a homeowner that attended the meeting said.
Nora Olson, a homeowner on Cochran Road, who also attended the meeting, stated that the new development would create overcrowding in classrooms at Vinewood Elementary School, which is the only elementary school in that region.
“When Rosegate was built, it caused student class sizes to increase and it increased traffic on Peach Street,” Olson said.
She added that a development in the region would be unconventional because several homes are currently for sale in the Sunwest area that have yet to be sold. Olson asked if the current houses were sitting in the market, would there be more buyer traffic for a new housing development?
The development that was proposed would consist of 28 lots ranging from lot sizes that were 7,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet with streets whose curb-to-curb distance was 32 feet.
Ron Heberle, a homeowner on Cochran Road who attended the meeting, said he believes the problem with narrow streets is accessibility for fire engines and medical vehicles driving down those streets.
“When I was working with the fire department, we did a test call in one of the developments with a narrow street and, had cars parked on the curb, and navigating that street was difficult, and we could not open our cabinets in the engine,” said Heberle.
He also stated that the main concern for narrowed streets is the reactionary time for drivers if a kid were to run out into the middle of the street. The sidewalks are so close to the roads that it would not give drivers enough time to stop, Heberle stated.
After members living in the surrounding region contested the development, the Planning Commission tabled the vote to meet with the developer and revisit the existing development to encourage a more consistent design and lot sizing for the Sunwest region.