Merced City School District Board of Education members held a brief public hearing on future redistricting proposals but spent more time Tuesday night pondering a medical office complex proposed near one of the middle schools.
No one from the public appeared at the hearing at Peterson Elementary School about two proposed maps to realign the five trustee areas to conform with the 2010 census. Another public hearing is planned for Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at Gracey Elementary School, 945 West Ave.
Board members, however, directed Associate Superintendent Greg Spicer to attend next Wednesday's public hearing before the Merced Planning Commission, where rezoning requests to permit medical office buildings near Cruickshank Middle School will be considered. The board took no action on the office complex issue.
Superintendent RoseMary Parga Duran said board members were concerned about traffic safety around the middle school, which is on Mercy Avenue near Mercy Medical Center. The board was worried about medical office patrons spilling out onto Mercy Avenue and Mansionette Drive near the school, creating hazards for children going to and from school.
Kim Espinosa, planning manager for the city of Merced, said planning commissioners will consider a general plan amendment and request to rezone property from residential to commercial office for four medical buildings, several of them three stories tall. Planners will make recommendations, but final zoning decisions will come Dec. 5 from the Merced City Council.
Everest Properties, represented by Sid Lakireddy, is proposing the office buildings on the south side of Mercy Avenue, near Mercy Medical Center and Cruickshank Middle School.
The public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Merced Civic Center, 678 W. 18th St.
On the redistricting issue, Duran stressed that the actions involve modifying trustee election boundaries, not individual school attendance boundaries. Redistricting is a mandated process in which trustee area populations are equalized and boundaries adjusted to reflect current demographics.
Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at
(209) 385-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.