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Work on new neighborhood starts, another close behind
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Water trucks keep dust under control as earth movers grade the 292-acre site for the Shadowbrook neighborhood along Louise Avenue.

The sound of skill saws and hammers — background noise for most areas south of the 120 Bypass that is experiencing a housing building boom — will be heard along the Louise Avenue corridor in the near future.
uSite work is now underway on the 492 homes that are part of the gated Shadowbrook community being built on East Louise Avenue that also borders Highway 99 on the west and Southland Road on the north.
uA developer is buying the Villa Ticino West project with approvals for 1,014 housing units southwest of the Airport Way interchange. The developer’s specialty is creating buildable lots by putting the entire infrastructure in place — streets, utilities,  and such — and then selling lots to builders.
Councilman Mike Morowit, who noted Tuesday before the council approved transferring development rights for the Villa Ticino West that nearby neighbors will appreciate the sandy former farmland that has been furrow for a number of years finally being developed.
Morowit noted he once lived on Crom Street east of the project and was among those who dealt with horrific dust that is kicked up during spring and summer wind storms.
But more importantly, Morowit noted, they are both infill projects that will not only piggyback on major infrastructure that is already in place but will also improve the quality of streets and other municipal amenities due to growth fees.
Among the general benefits that existing Manteca residents will see:
uLouise Avenue between the Union Pacific Railroad tracks that serves as the city’s western boundary with Lathrop will be widened to four lanes. That will eliminate the worst bottleneck of the afternoon commute on service streets involving residents that avoid the 120 Bypass and take Louise Avenue east of Interstate 5 in Lathrop to reach their homes in central Manteca. It is normal for the traffic to back up to the tracks. Four lanes will double the number of vehicles that can clear the traffic signals eastbound on Louise at Airport Way.
uIt will result in sidewalks being put in place for students that walk to the campus at the Manteca Unified district office complex.
The two projects will pay more than $12.4 million to go toward interchange work and major road projects that include addressing gaps on existing arterials without creating the need for additional major streets to handle traffic they create.
Villa Ticino West is paying the market value of $300,000 for six lots previously dedicated to the city for a fire station that is no longer needed with the opening of the fourth fire station on Lathrop Road west of Union Road. That money will be used by the city to pay for the building of the fifth fire station at Woodward Avenue and Atherton Drive. Villa Ticino West will still pay growth fees assessed to new housing to pay for government facilities such as the fire station. Shadowbrook is paying the same fees. Both developments are already within five minute response time of existing fire stations.
A large segment of Airport Way between Louise Avenue and Yosemite Avenue will be upgraded between the edge of Villa Ticino West and the centerline. The roadway is currently fairly narrow and is in a semi-washboard condition in spots.
The Villa Ticino West developer has agreed — at no charge to the city — to grant a 50-foot easement for the new north Manteca main sewer trunk line that needs to be put in place. Public works staff proposed the idea after noting the adopted route from the wastewater treatment plant down Yosemite Avenue and up Airport Way would be significantly more expensive due to the number of utilities in the ground under Yosemite Avenue. The route will also minimize disruption of traffic. The city had tried to work with other property owners to avoid Yosemite Avenue but they declined to cooperate. Typically subdivisions grant easements at no charge to the city but that is only for lines that are part of their project. In other cases developers — just like any other property owner — have the right to be compensated. The buyer of the Villa Ticino West project opted to give the easement to the city free of charge.
Shadowbrook is spending $1 million for a roundabout at Felice Way and Louise Avenue to avoid the need for traffic signals and to keep Louise Avenue traffic flow at an optimum level. The roundabout also avoids having signals just a short distance from ones already in place at Louise and Cottage avenues. It will be similar to the one on Eleventh Street between Tracy and Intestate 205 where a four-lane road and a two-lane road feed into a cul-de-sac.
Trumark Homes expects to start building the first houses at Shadowbrook this summer.
Villas Ticino West is working toward ground breaking for site work this year.
The 229-acre Villa Ticino West project is approved for 300 low density single family home sewer allocations to be made available starting this year and another 466 in 2019. There are also 248 high density allocations for an apartment complex that would be available in 2019.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email