By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Manteca, Lathrop neighborhoods offer housing on waters edge
Oakwood Shores in rural Manteca features homes on the waters edge. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

You don’t have to buy in Stockton’s Quail Lakes or Brookside neighborhoods if you want to live on the water.

There are two options in the South County just a mile apart — Oakwood Shores on Woodward Avenue bordering Manteca’s western city limits and River Islands at Lathrop.

Unlike Brookside that has direct access to the Delta, both River Islands and Oakwood Shores have interior lakes fed by the high water tables as well as storm and other runoff.

And unlike some “on the lake” communities such as the River Club on the Tracy side of the San Joaquin River south of Manteca via Airport Way, River Islands has a passive water cleansing design making extensive use of rocks and gravel that filters runoff before it reaches the lakes.

Homes in both new neighborhoods start in the high $300,000s. Lots that back up to the lakes do have a premium and more often than not you can have your own private dock. But even if you are not on the lake both developments have community access.

Flex plans offer

custom feel at

Oakwood Shores

Oakwood Shore is a gated community being developed by Lafferty Communities.

Along with flex designs the builder employed interior touches that added volume to create a sense of space that makes a 2,500-square-fpoot home feel like a 3,500-square-fopot home. It was accomplished in a number of subtle ways as well as with tall primary rooms that employ spacious banks of windows overlooking the water. It includes transoms over the great rooms along with floor plans on the second story models that take full advantage of the opportunity to create views of the water.

Each floor plan offers its own unique surprises. One has a laundry room under the staircase. Another has balconies overlooking the front yard off of secondary bedrooms. And another has a second floor balcony that is essentially a covered patio.

All of those touches — plus the expanse of windows and glass door options opening to the back — are designed to make patios and other spaces feel as if they are outdoor rooms.

There are also model specific options such as front patios with fireplaces, secondary master bedroom suites with separate kitchen and their own entrances from front courtyards for elderly parents or even children who have returned home from college. There are premiums for lake front homes that feature options such as docks.

Three builders

at River Islands

River Islands is a well-planned, well-funded undertaking that’s been 25 years in the making.

The three builders —Waterpointe by Van Daele Homes, Windrift byBrookfield  Residential, and Edgewater by DeNova Homes — were selected in the same deliberate fashion. They are family concerns that take pride in the neighborhoods they help build and not massive builders. It shows in the model homes that are now open.

Edgewater also has homes available with boat docks.

There are a lot of draws for the 10,800-home planned community. They include:

Universal river access via a linear park along the edge of 14 miles of San Joaquin River and delta habitat. That’s in addition to 400 acres of lakes within River Islands.

A park of some type within a quarter of a mile of every home in River Islands. The first interior park being built will have soccer fields, extensive tree plantings and a wide expanse of steps leading down to the water’s edge of a lake. It is being named Michael Vega Park in honor of the first Lathrop resident killed in the Global War on Terror.

Service by an independent district that will provide electricity at rates ultimately 25 percent below what PG&E charges.

Water sensors built into front yard landscaping

Public schools designed with cutting edge 21st century education in mind including one campus that was built and up and running well in advance of the first home even being sold — a rarity in California.

A plan to make the community the Central Valley’s first transit community as Cambay Group is working on a plan that would put an Altamont Corridor Express station adjacent to the development’s employment center on a proposed route that would ultimately serve as a connector for high speed rail service.

A plan to finance future maintenance costs for the community that caps all taxes at 1.8 percent of a property’s value. That includes the base one percent property tax that is collected on all California homes now. The cap contrasts with other nearby developments where Mello-Roos taxes have risen to 3 percent of value and more as property values declined.

An in-place purple pipe system that will use river road and treated wastewater to irrigate common landscaping — most of which is low water use — and parks. Given the water table and proximity of the river it would fairly quickly cycle itself back to the river.

License plate scanners will be placed at all four bridges that ultimately will serve as the only access to River Islands to alert authorities of stolen vehicles. Security will be further enhanced by other cameras throughout the 4,800-acre planned community will monitor a stolen vehicle’s progress along streets as officers respond.

A marketing director has been hired not to sell homes but to organize community activities ranging from Fourth of July celebrations complete with parades to farmers markets.

That’s the short list of things River Islands  offers potential residents.

“We’re not just selling homes to people,” Dell’Osso said in March. “We want the people who live here to live not just in homes but in a community.”

Home prices in River Bend — the initial neighborhood — start in  the mid-$300,000s. Ultimately River Islands will have 10,800 homes in the form of single family houses, apartments, condos and even condos above restaurants and stores in the future town center.

The higher density housing such as  apartments and condos  will surround high use community areas such as schools.

Streets are being kept narrow to de-emphasize vehicles and slow traffic down. And instead of deploying traffic signals, most intersections where traffic volume is higher will have roundabouts.

No sidewalks will abut streets. Instead there will be landscaped mow strips between the curb and sidewalks.

Long-term upkeep and maintaining standards aren’t being left to chance. Areas that traditionally are neglected in a neighborhood such as corners and other spots will not be sold with lots. Instead they will be kept in control of the community for common area maintenance and upkeep.

Adequate water for the development of the entire project has been secured.

The entire community has the highest level of flood protection possible — levees designed to withstand 200 year event.

They are the most secure levees of their type in the nation.

Standards will be enforced by a community oversight board similar to what is done in Del Webb communities but not as restrictive.

Nothing has been left to chance.