Tracy Hills updaye

Tracy Planning Commission voted unanimously to endorse plans for the next phase of Tracy Hills on the northwest side of Corral Hollow Road

The next phase of Tracy Hills is ready to move forward, with a unanimous endorsement from the Tracy Planning Commission, the latest step in clearing the way for development of 457 acres on the northwest side of Corral Hollow Road just west of Interstate 580.

The commission voted 5-0 in favor of a general plan amendment, a Tracy Hills Specific Plan amendment and a vesting tentative subdivision map for 1,470 new homes.

The city approved the 2,767 Tracy Hills area back in 1998. On Wednesday the commission looked at 1,143 acres west of I-580, including large parcels that will be part of the future Phase 3.

Tracy Senior Planner Scott Claar described the newest phase of project, including the subdivisions and four neighborhood parks, a community park and a school site. With the planning commission’s endorsement of the plan move to the Tracy City Council for approval, with the council expected to consider the plan at its Oct. 19 meeting.

The request from the developer changes some of the land uses originally proposed for Phase 2, including rezoning 42 acres from medium-density residential medium to low-density residential and eight acres from very-low-density residential to low-density residential. That will translate to lot sizes between 4,950 square feet and 6,500 square feet for new homes. It also includes rezoning of a part of a commercial area along Corral Hollow Road, taking three acres out of a 7-acre commercial area and rezoning it for low-density residential development.

Project Manager John Palmer told the commission that the developer is working from a 2016 revision of that plan, and Wednesday’s presentation to the commission provided even more details on the subdivisions planned for the 457-acre Phase 2, as well as a traffic study and plans for parks and a new school.

Wednesday’s presentation from city planning staff, consultants and the developer focused largely on the traffic study, presented by Frederik Venter of Kimley Horn and Associate. He described how traffic will flow through the development after another 1,467 homes are added to the 2,216 homes already approved under the development’s Phase 1 plans.

His descriptions included street designs, including roundabout intersections within the development, and the widening of Corral Hollow Road to four lanes with bike paths, landscaping and sidewalks, plus development of intersections, including new traffic signals, along Corral Hollow Road from Tracy Hills and to the north up to Valpico and Schulte roads.

Mike Souza, also a Project Manager with Tracy Hills, noted that some of that widening is under way now between I-580 and the California Aqueduct, and will be completed within about six months. Improvements further to the north are expected to begin in the spring, and Corral Hollow Road adjacent to Phase 2 will be widened before new home construction begins in that area.

He explained that the developer has an obligation to pay for road and intersection improvements under Tracy Hills’ development agreement with the city, and the developer must also work with Caltrans on projects that affect I-580, with those discussions already under way.

An improved interchange at Corral Hollow Road and I-580 will include a four-lane bridge over the freeway with two-lane roundabouts at the on- and off-ramps on both sides of the freeway.

Roadway improvements also include a four-lane underpass where Lammers Road will cross I-580, with the extension of Lammers Road running through the development to intersect with Corral Hollow Road.

“By the time we’re done with all of these improvements that will be built in the next three-to-five years, we’ll have this network in place,” Souza said. “It’s kind of tempting to say, ‘Well, why doesn’t all of that just get built before we do anything?’ That’s just not realistic. What we’re able to do here is, as we build the project and as capital comes in from being able to build the project from selling our land and selling houses, that capital is used to build these improvements.

“We’re also working closely with the city to seek other funding, to be able to bring other state and federal funding, county funding, into play to try to get these improvements funded and get them in there as quickly as we can.

“We take very seriously the impacts that we put on local transportation network and take seriously our obligation to do our share to improve these roads.”

Palmer also described how Tracy Hills secured water supplies from Byron Bethany Irrigation District and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, accounting for about 4,500 acre-feet per-year to accommodate an expected demand of about 3,300 acres for the entire Tracy Hills Development.

He and Jordan Lail of Urban Arena described the parks and open space system within Phase 2, including four neighborhood parks covering 15.4 acres plus a 17.1 acre community park, along with 46.6 acres of open space, connected by 2.6 miles of trails as part of Tracy Hills’ 8-mile trail plan.

Lail noted that the Phase 2 aspect of the parks plan works with a plan that covers the entire Tracy Hills development.

“The fact that we’re integrating all of these neighborhood park­s and connecting them all, I think that it makes for a really exciting community,” Lail said, adding that each park will have unique amenities, but they’re all designed as part of a park system.

“Because they’re all interconnected the thought is that the community will not only visit the park in front of their house, but also visit some the other neighboring parks, because they are going to be so connected by this trail system.”

Commissioners noted that some of the green spaces noted on the map, about 2.9 acres worth, appear to be homeowners association facilities, and wanted assurance that the parks and open space system as a whole would be open to the public. Palmer also assured the commission that they would, and that the naming of the parks would be a public process and subject to city approval.

• Contact Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com, or call 209-830-4227.

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