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560 homes rising from field?
EIR report on Machado Estates before planners
This is part of the 156.8 acres that eventually will be turned into 560 single family homes. HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin - photo by HIME ROMERO
One day there will be 560 homes on a large 156.8-acre parcel used primarily for crops such as pumpkins and corn providing owners Joe and Lillian Machado can clear all of the necessary hurdles for the land on the southwest corner of Airport Way and Woodward Avenue.

Among those steps is certification of an environmental impact report that identifies issues and problems the development could create such as traffic.

The EIR is before the Manteca Planning Commission Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
While there is not an exact timetable for starting the project, the next step after the EIR certification would be adoption of a tentative subdivision map as well as annexation to the city.

Annexation is a major issue with 15 existing rural residential parcels along Woodward Avenue that could be forced to annex at the same time to comply with state laws that prohibit the creation of unincorporated islands within city limits.

The residents at previous meetings have made it clear they are not thrilled by the project they fear will further deteriorate water conditions and create excess traffic that would alter the rural feel of their homes. Major subdivisions are already being built north of Woodward Avenue where most of the homes are located.

The city can’t force the residents to hook up to municipal services such as water and sewer after annexation although the individual property owners have the right to connect to the city systems provide they pay the standard hook-up charges and put lines into the city mains.

It typically takes up to 18 months for a project once it gets its final approval for the first home to be built. In this case, the land needs to be annexed first to the city which requires it to go through the San Joaquin Local Agency Formation Commission for approval. That shouldn’t be a major problem since the 156.8 acres are within the sphere of influence that has been identified as logical places for the city to grow into.

The wild card for construction starting is the strength of the new housing market that is showing signs of stabilizing but is far from being anywhere close to becoming robust.

The plans call for a combined 11.38-acre storm retention basin and park site plus a 3.87-acre linear park.

The parks will not be maintained by city taxpayers as the new requirements in place now mandate neighborhood park maintenance to be collapsed into the landscaping maintenance district created for sound walls and the accompanying landscaping.

Machado Estates will actually consist of two neighborhoods separated by a future extension of McKinley Avenue that will curve to the southeast from its current alignment north of Woodward Avenue.

The neighborhood to the north of the future McKinley Avenue extension is designed in a circular pattern around a park/retention basin which is the focal point of the neighborhood. All entry roads include large landscaped parkways with views lead to the park.
Round-a-bouts will be put where roads converge on the park site to slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety.

The neighborhood to the south of the McKinley Avenue extension is proposed with a grid-like pattern with some cul-de-sacs. It will feature larger lots. A linear park is proposed along the southern boundary of the neighborhood as a greenbelt along a dry cross levee. It will have a meandering walking trail.

There also will be a widening of Airport Way and Woodard Avenue with the continuation of landscaping and sound wall standards.