Tracy Hills plans unveiled, developers to incorporate local history, high-tech future
by Michael Langley
Dec 05, 2013 | 7225 views | 2 2 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy Hills
John Palmer and Mike Souza look at a section of west Tracy on Wednesday, Dec. 4, where the first stage of Tracy Hills is scheduled to be built.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Tuesday night, Dec. 3, the Tracy City Council and community got their first look at the plans for the Tracy Hills project.

The development, south and west of the city center, straddles Interstate 580 between Corral Hollow Road and Hansen Road. Phase 1A will sit on the north side of the freeway in the area bordered by Corral Hollow on the east, I-580 on the south and the California Aqueduct to the north and west.

Souza Realty & Development is developing the property for owners Integral Communities in Orange County. Mike Souza, vice president of development for SR&D, and John Palmer, project manager of land planning and development, presented the plan to the council at its regular meeting Tuesday.

“This is the first time that an area phase has gone to this kind of detail,” Souza said in an interview the next day, Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Tracy Hills will incorporate about 1,179 homes, along with some business and retail centers. All of the planned development is built along a spine road that snakes through the development rather than following a straight line from east to west. Palmer told the council it was a way to calm fast traffic among family homes.

“One of the things this road does as it serpentines through is create connections,” Palmer said Wednesday.

He said people living in Tracy Hills would have multiple ways to get across the community.

Councilman Charles Manne asked during the presentation about the safety of building homes close to the California Aqueduct.

Bill Dean, assistant development services director for Tracy, said the safety details are still being discussed.

“One of the ideas is that a house backing along that area will actually be backing along a utility corridor. And along that utility corridor will be a fence there that prevents you from being able to get to the aqueduct,” Dean told the council Tuesday. “One thing we did do is purposefully try to pull those parks away from the corridor.”

Souza said Wednesday that he and Palmer want to create an iconic Tracy feature at the I-580 exit to Corral Hollow Road.

“The city has no presence on 580 now. None,” Souza said. “We have an obligation, we think, to do the right presence on 580. We need to do that right. We need to be the community entry point from the south.”

Souza also said he wants to tie into Tracy’s future in one other way.

“These projects, and I mean primarily Tracy Hills and Ellis, should be viewed as how we are going to support bringing those jobs to Cordes Ranch and Gateway,” he said. “We’re paying attention to our roots, but we’re trying to be what the Silicon Valley people want, to move their jobs out here.”

Tuesday night, all five council members praised the plan and unanimously accepted the report on Tracy Hills.

Dean said the city is still negotiating development agreements for Tracy Hills. The presentation was a chance for council to see a plan overview before formal public hearing, planning, environmental review and approval processes.

Souza said he expects to start developing Tracy Hills Phase 1A within 18 months.

• Contact Michael Ellis Langley at 830-4231 and

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December 08, 2013
Ugh. I hope it never happens. The open space is so much more attractive than a bunch more homes would be. If for some reason is absolutely necessary to have more homes, which I doubt given the state of the economy, then at least build livable homes. By livable I mean at least 1-2 acres. This town is full of cookie cutter rinky-dink homes jammed in on far too small lots. What is really needed is homes with some space. There are only a few decent neighborhoods in town, like the one near Hansen Rd on the north side of 580 and virtually all of them are houses that are 50 or so years old. How about some modern homes on reasonable size lots?
December 09, 2013
Come on, Sneaky, get on the bandwagon (kidding).

The point of our lives is to increase the number of consumers and their rate of consumption. Therefore, more new homes will always be built and, because many of us like high-density living, for a number of specious reasons, we will continue to propagate and welcome millions of new immigrants into this country every year.

I always say to people: We, humans, have the cognitive capacity (flexibility, plasticity) to believe just about anything; and we also have the capacity to ferociously defend our emotional attachments; therefore, ignorance or prejudice may be defended to the death.

There is a meta-paradigm that truly mediates every economic aspect of our lives and, furthermore, where you wouldn’t think money mediates particular human values, it does.

The encroachment you fear is here. Because we are so skewed, we are now abdicating our “rights” to barking dogs who provide you with some kind of therapy.

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