Rohnert Park planning commissioners voted 5-0 Thursday to allow an apartment developer to proceed with environmental studies on a 6.5-acre property owned by Sonoma Media Investments, the owners of The Press Democrat.

The vote, made over the opposition of city planners, allows Advance Building Solutions of Petaluma to move forward in seeking a general plan amendment and a rezoning from industrial to high-density residential for a parcel at the southeast corner of Business Park Drive and Dowdell Avenue. The land is directly behind the newspaper’s printing plant.

Advance Building Solutions, which developed The Reserve apartment complex adjacent to the property, has proposed to build up to 156 residential units on the site.

The developer next will prepare environmental studies before returning to the planning commission.

Before taking effect, a general plan amendment requires the approval of the City Council.