Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Building Boom at Vacaville's City's Boundaries

April 28, 2004

Building boom at city's boundaries

Developers offer plans with something for most - single- family homes, apartments and senior housing to large lots for custom homes.

By Kevin Clerici/Staff Writer

Vacaville's City Council welcomed three new neighborhoods Tuesday which are anticipated to house thousands in coming years. Housing in the neighborhoods covers a range of choices from multifamily apartments and smaller homes, to seniors-only houses, to spacious one-acre lots for large custom homes. Most of the homes would be constructed in two areas bordering existing neighborhoods located at the city's edge.

The Council's approvals signal the culmination of years of work and project review. Apparently the scores of neighborhood meetings held to address concerns were effective, as no one spoke against the proposals.

The largest of the developments, dubbed the "Southtown" project, involves plans for roughly 1,200 housing units, including single-family homes, cluster homes and apartments on some 260 acres of agricultural land between Leisure Town and Nut Tree roads just outside Vacaville's southeastern boundary. A secondary project in the same neighborhood as the Southtown development calls for 240 small-lot and cluster-type units and a self-storage facility. Officials say the smaller homes should benefit first-time home buyers or those looking to downsize, while also providing critical housing options to those who work at nearby Travis Air Force Base.

Both projects have a number of benefits, including roadway and interchange improvements, and a new,fully equipped fire station. They also would add about 14 acres of new public parks and open space with a network of trails and greenbelts. "I can't wait to see it happen," Vice Mayor Pauline Clancy said.

In contrast, three separate but contiguous housing developments just outside of the city's northeastern boundary will feature larger, "rural" lots with custom and semi-custom homes. The neighborhood will feature roughly 290 homes, open space and public trail systems - all of which would be built over the next few years. "That's the two elements we are missing most - the larger custom lots and small, more affordable homes," Mayor Len Augustine said.

Like the projects to the south of the city, the plans for the northern area would require land annexation as well as new sewer, water and storm drain systems. Developers hope to begin construction in early 2005. They have agreed to pay school mitigation fees in order to cover the cost of providing schools to serve the new housing areas.

Lastly, the council approved an 84-unit, seniors-only subdivision on Leisure Town Road and Maple Road. The subdivision also features a recreation center and a detention basin expected to ease drainage problems that have plagued the surrounding neighborhood for years.

Kevin Clerici can be reached at vacaville@thereporter.com.

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