Monday, October 10, 2005

Big changes are being planned for the northern ”gateway“ to Fairfield.

Article Last Updated: Saturday, Oct 08, 2005 - 10:41:50 pm PDT

Fairfield's gateway to the north

Big changes are being planned for the northern ”gateway“ to Fairfield.

The North Texas Street/Interstate 80 area will be completely transformed in the coming years. This week, we will look at some of the plans for this area - and some concepts floating around that might have even greater impacts on the area by 2008.

Driving the transformation of the area will be a completely reconfigured freeway interchange.

Manuel Campos Parkway, a four-lane roadway that is partially constructed, will be extended to Interstate 80 and the interchange itself will be reconstructed to include a four-lane over-crossing with new signalized on and off ramps.

The current North Texas Street and Nelson Road alignments, along with the freeway off- and on-ramps will also be reconfigured to improve traffic flow.

Nelson Road will be relocated behind the existing Arco gas station and former Howard Johnson property, where it will end in a cul-de-sac.

The reconfigured interchange will incorporate new landscaping, signage, public art and other elements to help create a strong ”gateway“ to Fairfield.

The former Howard Johnson's restaurant remains available for development. When the new interchange is completed, this site will offer prime freeway visibility with improved access.

The realignment of North Texas Street will create a new parcel on the west side of North Texas Street between the new street and the freeway. This approximately four-acre ”teardrop parcel“ will be suitable for highway-oriented retail uses.

The city is also working with the owners of the hillside parcel above Dickson Hill Road to acquire necessary right-of-way land. This property was most recently operated as a gravel quarry.

Any property remaining after the right-of-way use could be available for commercial development within the next five years.

Our readers can also expect to see development moving forward at Hillside Terrace, a new retail center to be located at the northeast corner of Dickson Hill Road and North Texas Street.

The Planning Commission on Sept. 28 approved the project, which should start construction in 2006. The new center will include a Long's Drugs, El Pollo Loco restaurant and shop space. Project amenities will include a landscaped waterfall at the intersection.

To the south, the tragic loss of Lou's Junction to a kitchen fire this summer will likely lead to new commercial development on this site. The property owners are currently marketing the site to a variety of national and regional retailers and restaurant operators.

North of the future interchange, plans may be under way soon for a major new project.

The Mario Sengo property located along Lyon Road immediately north of the city limits has been optioned to a residential developer.

The Fairfield General Plan identifies 2,000 acres north of current city (north of Rolling Hills and Rancho Solano) as the ”Rancho Solano North Master Plan Area.“ The Sengo parcel is included within the master plan area.

The general plan requires preparation of an ”area-wide plan“ incorporating public involvement for the entire area before any development can occur.

Major issues would include open space preservation, viewshed protection, public services (including fire protection) and wildlife habitat.

The city anticipates much of the land would be preserved as regional open space.

In other news, city staff may receive a $50,000 planning grant from the Solano Transportation Authority to fund the design phase of pedestrian improvements near the Fairfield Transportation Center. This project would improve the pedestrian environment for local residents and complement the planning now under way by Caltrans for improvements to the intersection of Oliver and Rockville Roads.

Economic Notes is an update from Fairfield City Hall written by Brian Miller and Karl Dumas of the Fairfield Planning and Development Department. They can be contacted at 428-7461 or e-mail at or

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