During their July 13 meeting, members of the Los Banos Planning Commission approved an exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act to allow for the potentially excessive noise associated with the construction of the new Los Banos Police Station.

“In regards for the request of the noise variance,” Associate Planner Rudy Luquin said, “construction will begin at 5:30 a.m. in order to prevent heat-related illnesses.” Luquin added that the construction crew will be pouring concrete between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Community and Economic Development Director Stacy Elms clarified that the pouring of the concrete at this time will occur for the tilt-up walls and will only take place during the summer for six to eight specific days.

“It is to ensure that the temperature is right for the curing of those concrete walls,” Elms explained. “It is imperative that those walls are strong and that there is no shrinkage or cracking that occurs due to the heat that we will experience for the rest of the summer.”

Luquin stated that the surrounding areas affected by the construction noise are the Merced County Courthouse, which is directly to the east of the site; the Rail Trail, which is to the south; CFN Gas Station, which is to the south on H street; Los Banos Corporate Yard, which is to the northwest and the nearest residential area, located approximately 400 feet away to the east on G Street.

“The noise source will be temporary, coinciding with the construction of the Los Banos Police Station. The construction noise will cease when the police station construction is completed,” Luquin explained.

Commissioner Rob Robinson asked how long the entire project is expected to last.

Los Banos Police Chief Gary Brizzee responded saying, “Construction for the project, we are hoping, as long as weather cooperates, will be completed in about the mid to end of September of 2023.”

Planning commissioners also approved the site plan review for two commercial structures with drive-throughs totaling 5,800 square feet with a 374 square foot patio, located within the Stone Creek Plaza. One of the buildings will be an Ono Hawaiian BBQ restaurant and the other a future restaurant.

“The materials and the colors of the proposed development will be consistent with the Stone Creek shopping center,” Luquin noted. “There will also be various site improvements such as creating drainage, pavements, landscaping, and exterior lighting.”

Malina Duran

Malina Duran’s email is malina.duran1999@gmail.com.