Growth guidelines place three projects first
by Jon Mendelson
Oct 19, 2012 | 4194 views | 9 9 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If residential housing booms again in Tracy, a select group of developers will get the first crack at the market for building and selling homes.

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, City Council unanimously approved guidelines under the growth management ordinance that prioritize which residential projects are eligible for residential growth allotments (RGAs) that entitle developers to permits to build homes.

City planner Bill Dean told the council that the regulations emphasize which projects have secured the most entitlements and are closest to beginning construction.

Under the new guidelines, Dean said that the Tracy Hills, Ellis and Kagehiro projects are the first developments in line for RGAs because they are furthest along in the process.

Tracy Hills is within city limits and straddles Interstate 580 at the south end of Lammers Road. Ellis is slated for land outside city limits on the northwest corner of Linne and Corral Hollow roads, and the Kagehiro project will occupy city land northeast of Valpico and Corral Hollow roads.

“Those are projects that have received City Council approval in the past several times,” Dean said. “Those are projects that have developed infrastructure solutions for their projects. Those are projects that are poised to move into the tentative mapping phase … sooner than others.”

Dean told council that there are not enough RGAs for every proposed project around Tracy to be built profitably at the same time.

The city’s growth guidelines allow handing out a maximum of 750 RGAs each year, with an annual average of 600 RGAs — limits approved by voters in 2000 under Measure A.

The guidelines approved Tuesday also stipulate that infill projects — plans to build homes on lots within city limits that are partially or wholly surrounded by developed land — would also get priority.

Other developments waiting for RGAs would be eligible for allotments that aren’t used by infill projects or Tracy Hills, Ellis or the Kagehiro development. RGAs cannot be transferred between projects once issued to a specific project.

Mike Souza, of Tracy-based Souza Realty and Development, is one of the partners behind Tracy Hills, which was annexed into the city in 1998.

Souza said Thursday, Oct. 18, that the project has been at a standstill since 2000, as Measure A virtually shut down residential growth in Tracy between 2006 and 2012.

The City Council’s recent vote, he said, will allow Tracy Hills to be built now that the city is able to issue RGAs again.

Souza said he was “pleased” to see the project move forward and expected to start construction as early as 2014.

In previous conversations, Ellis lead developer Les Serpa has also said 2014 is a target for constructing homes.

“We are seeing the market has been strong in the Bay Area for a good year,” Souza said. “We usually see the market here follow (the market) in the Bay Area by 12 to 18 months.”

He said the housing project perched in the hills overlooking the valley supports the economic development efforts of the city along the Lammers Road corridor — specifically the Cordes Ranch and Gateway properties east of Lammers.

“That Lammers corridor is going to be a very important corridor in the future,” Souza said.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
October 20, 2012
For their sake, I hope they build the lower-density stuff first. I can't help but think the development model of cramming huge McMansions together like sardines is permanently dead. Why would you want a huge house with almost no land, if America no longer has the economic clout to command as massive a stream of imported consumer goods for you to fill your house with? Better to have the land, so you can produce something for yourself.

That's why I find Souza's as-yet-unimplemented custom home sites on the west side of Banta Road to be a much more interesting project. Too bad it's always planted in corn there; I'd have to do some serious topsoil regeneration before I built, if I were in the market for such a thing.
October 20, 2012

I never could figure it out either. Big house, no land. But I suppose people would spend so much time keepin up that big house they wouldn't have any need fer th land an wouldn't be able ta keep it up especially if they were tryin ta farm it fer produce.

October 19, 2012
Cose, your comment regarding momofthree being a "lowlife", was way out of bounds and referencing her children was truly unwarranted.

You need to apologize.
October 20, 2012
The call stands.

When I see a change towards respecting other people's property rights, I'll modify my charge.
October 19, 2012
I love the $OUZA Development $pin.

Yes it was measure A that stopped building in Tracy.

Not the foreclosure crisis that stopped real estate building nation wide.

If you believe that I have Dale Cose to sell you.

October 19, 2012
It was in fact Measure A that stopped the growth. It came before the economic crisis. To a point we are lucky it passed due to the following crisis. But it was/is flawed.

Here is the Measure A info:

PS those developers mentioned above already had projects in the works and approvals on some before the measure was voted on. They have had to wait for the RGA's to be allotted again.
October 20, 2012
Good morning Chris,

Waiting for the gun and cop beating rant. Were you able to get by the Police Station to vent ?

Have a nice day.

October 19, 2012
Jon Mendelson,

Is it a "select developer" if they are the only developer who offered a proposal?

Who coined the phrase "select developer"?

If true, it would certainly be newsworthy.

So, is it true and factual or assumed?

Was it maybe something you overheatd at the Burning Bean coffee shop?

Please clarify.
October 19, 2012
They would be th "select developer" if ya selected em. If ya didn't select em I suppose they wouldn't be th "select developer" that eventually got selected.

Now I have a headache but I do understand yer post. Since I couldn't find th quote in his article I assume ya heard it or read it somewhair else.

Just havin some fun with yer post is all.

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