The alterations to the new plaza at 441 W. Eaton Ave. were inspired by community feedback from an Oct. 3 meeting, according to David Romano, real estate consultant from Modesto-based Newman-Romano.
“We tried to implement some of the changes,” he told a group of about 15 residents inside Sutter Tracy Community Hospital, 1420 N. Tracy Blvd.
Sutter Gould plans to raze the 29,000-square-foot plaza to make way for a new 45,000-square-foot building on the tree-shaded parking lot of the existing structure.
“We’re trying to be as sensitive as we can with the design,” Romano said.
He said planners have moved dumpsters so they are farther from homes and added an 8-foot-wall behind the building to act as a buffer to neighboring homes. To keep cars off Eaton Avenue, the revised plan calls for 252 parking spaces instead of the city standard of 228 spots.
Pete Mitracos, an area resident and member of the Tracy planning commission, said the designs still do not resolve all of the concerns expressed by neighbors. He said Sutter Gould should consider putting the building at the corner of Eaton and Bessie avenues.
“Nothing has changed,” he said. “Let’s be honest, if you lived here, you would not use this design. It’s designed for Gateway, not this neighborhood. You’re not improving the neighborhood by moving the building.”
Romano believes the project “would not detract from the neighborhood.”
One woman said her neighbor, who lives next to the medical center lot, would lose her sunlight in the shadow of the proposed two-story building.
“It would be a big difference to their view,” she said.
The proposed $20 million facility is designed to accommodate 20 to 24 physicians in family practice, internal medicine and pediatrics.
Romano said Sutter Gould has not yet submitted plans to the city and didn’t anticipate doing so for a month or two.
Another issue that was raised Oct. 3 was the desire to save a century-old oak tree in the present parking lot.
Romano called the tree “unique and substantial” and said foundation officials heard the neighbors’ requests and met with an arborist. He said they had arranged to transplant the tree elsewhere on the property.
He said Sutter Gould planned to consider all of the residents’ comments from Wednesday night but didn’t anticipate having any more neighborhood meetings.
Romano said residents who still had concerns could voice them during the city review process.
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