Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fairfield Green-Lights New Development

Fairfield Green-Lights New Development
By Ben Antonius

FAIRFIELD - Tolenas residents will get some new neighbors along East Tabor Avenue under a development recently approved by the city's planning commission.

The Fairfield Planning Commission has unanimously approved an 82-home project proposed by Castle Homes. The project is a revision of a smaller development Castle proposed in 2006 that would have included 64 homes.

Commissioners Andre Gardner, Liesa Houdashelt, George Curry and Gian Aggarwal voted for the project with the other three commissioners absent from the meeting.

The Ivy Wreath project is near the southwest corner of the East Tabor Avenue-Walters Road intersection.

In 2006, the commission approved a plan to put 64 houses and a small park on a 7-acre parcel of land. Castle was asking to also build on a thin strip of land west of the existing parcel, which increases the project to 82 homes on nearly 10 acres.

The inclusion of the second strip of land was looked on favorably by the commission, Curry said.

"It is an unusually shaped, very narrow lot," he said. "It made more sense to go ahead and incorporate it into this project than somebody (else) trying to figure out what to do with this long narrow lot."

A city staff report supported the project and reached similar conclusions - that it would be difficult to fit a project onto the adjacent strip of land, which is only 115 feet wide.

The report said there are no major environmental concerns with building in the area. A biological study identified a handful of seasonal wetlands that would be lost, but the staff report said Castle could mitigate for that.

Most of the land in the Tolenas area is part of the unincorporated county, but the two Castle parcels and one next to it were annexed into the city of Fairfield nearly 40 years ago.

Reach Ben Antonius at 427-6977 or bantonius@dailyrepublic.net.

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