Arden Neighbors Concerned Over Planned Shopping Center Overhaul

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SACRAMENTO -- Developers are making room to overhaul a shopping center at Watt Avenue and Arden Way.

An overhaul, but is it an improvement? That depends on who you ask.

"There'll be more traffic back there, and potential for an increase in crime," said neighbor Phil Varner.

Phil Varner lives on a street of homes less than 300 feet away from the site. The concern for him and his neighbors is the plan for two fast food restaurants, with 24 hours a day drive-thrus at each, to be built in this parking lot.

"We understand the value that the businesses bring to the community. We understand that the sales tax generates things that benefit everybody," said neighbor Bukola B. "However, I think it can be balanced carefully. And it doesn't have to be balanced on the backs of middle class families who are trying to raise their children in safe environments, who are trying to build up a home."

Bukola has lived in her home for about a year. A few weeks ago, a contractor for Melone Geier, the developer, showed up here to ask if they could put a noise meter in her back yard.

What they reported is that noise levels in the neighborhood are already louder than what's allowed in the zoning rules.

According to the report by Bollard Acoustical Consultants, the noise monitoring didn't extend past 9:30 p.m., "due to a battery malfunction within the noise meter."

"Absolutely it's significant. Because they have nothing to measure it against," Bukola said. "It's false data."

Representatives from Melone Geier today refused to comment on the development, or the noise analysis they submitted as part of their plan.

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