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Judge rules Cal Poly can build Grand Avenue dorms 

A project planned to house Cal Poly freshmen on the edge of campus near the residential neighborhoods along Slack Street and Grand Avenue recently cleared a lawsuit attempting to park the plan.

After the project’s environmental impact report (EIR) was approved in May 2014, a group of nearby residents called the Alliance for SLO Neighborhoods challenged the EIR, alleging that it failed to fully mitigate or address the traffic, noise, and visual impacts of the dorm complex. Residents in that area are concerned that an increased density of student housing will also mean an increase in trash, late-night revelry and rowdiness, and street-side pubic urination common to that area.

The group’s June 20, 2014, filing requested the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees rescind approval of the project’s EIR and “not to reconsider or approve the project until and unless a legally adequate EIR has been prepared and certified.”

On May 6 of this year, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Martin Tangeman ruled with the CSU trustees and the university, finding that the EIR was sufficient.

The ruling addressed the two main arguments presented by the Alliance, which alleged that Cal Poly’s reasons to build the dorm at the Grand Avenue site were insufficient.In the ruling, the court sided with the university, which said it chose the area—currently a large parking lot—because it’s more financially feasible than the alternative, and becuase it’s the best place to house freshmen.

-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay

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