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Church Expansion Gets 4-0 Approval
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San Joaquin County Planning Commission members gave the thumbs up for expansion at St. Patrick's Catholic Church on Thursday, airing an ambitious building plan in a March 19 public hearing in Stockton.

The expansion at the church, corner of Highway 120 and Carrolton Road at the Escalon-Ripon border, is planned in several phases. Members of the county's planning commission voted 4-0 in favor of the project at Thursday night's meeting.

"Two people spoke in opposition to the project," said project planner for the county, Jason Jones. "The Farm Bureau spoke against it, and two people."

Project proponents were also there to answer any questions planners had regarding the plan.

"One commissioner was absent," Jones said of the 4-0 ruling.

There are five members on the county Planning Commission.

Jones said the approval at that level sets in motion a 10-day appeal period, during which time anyone opposed to the project can appeal the planning commission approval to the county's Board of Supervisors.

The hearing included introduction of the staff report regarding the project, then comments from the applicant and proponents of the plan, followed by those opposed to it.

The project is scheduled to be completed in four phases. Expansion will include a 2,000 square foot chapel, a 20,000 square foot church, a 50,000 square foot school for up to 200 students, kindergarten through eighth grade, and an accompanying youth center and a 4,000 square foot convent. The use type is classified as 'Religious Assembly-Regional and Education Services-General' and the project site is on the west side of Carrolton Road, 1200 feet north of State Route 120, west of Escalon.

Planners did not have any questions that weren't adequately addressed and voted to move the project forward.