Another section of the right-of-way for the envisioned Raymus Expressway — a potential major street that the city for years has told rural Manteca residents that they do not have an adopted alignment for — could be locked in tonight by the Manteca City Council.
The right-of-way is part of the envisioned 1,301 home Griffin Park series of distinct neighborhoods on 301 acres bordering the west side of South Main Street stretching from just north of Woodward Avenue to Sedan Avenue that is up for final approval when the council meets tonight. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
The project also will significantly increase traffic on South Main Street — a corridor that is heavily congested weekday afternoons and on the weekends between the 120 Bypass and Woodward Avenue. It also will require the developer to install the city’s first roundabout where two envisioned four-lane streets — South Main Street and Raymus Expressway — would meet.
South Main is 104 feet wide with a 14-foot median while Raymus Expressway through Griffin Park is envisioned as a 108-foot wide road with a center median in excess of 30 feet.
The city has made similar right-of-way dedications for Raymus Expressway as conditions for developments farther to the west for the envisioned roadway that will connect with the McKinley Avenue interchange targeted to break ground next year on the 120 Bypass to at least Austin Road. The city has plans to eventually build a new interchange between Austin Road and Jack Tone Road along Highway.
Two years ago, however, the previous City Council removed the interchange from a list of major projects growth fees are being charged to help cover the cost of building. That’s because the interchange collapsed into a fee would have severely ballooned the charge plus the city had no idea where it would get the funds to cover the part of the $100 million tab that growth legally couldn’t be forced to pay for. The interchange could cost more than $100 million as Caltrans would require Highway 99 to the shifted to the east.
Shortly after the council took the Raymus Expressway off the list of road projects growth helps pay for Caltrans devised a solution to address the 120 Bypass and Highway 99 snafu that ultimately will put in place a much more muscular Austin Road interchange. The Austin Road interchange could negate much, if not all, of the need for the Raymus Expressway interchange.
Rural South Manteca residents have been in limbo for years as the city hasn’t identified an exact alignment for the expressway or a cross-levee needed to provide 200-year flood protection for existing homes as well as new growth within the southwest areas of the city. The expressway alignment could end up significantly widening their narrow country roads or — just like potential alignments for the levee — it could cut behind their homes or through their property.
Griffin Park is unaffected by the need for the cross-levee to provide state mandated 200-year flood protection. It is outside of the area that flooded in 1997. It is also outside the 500-year floodplain.
Based on current home occupancy trends Griffin Park at build out could be home to just over 4,000 residents. Escalon’s population, by contrast, is 7,600 residents.
Griffin Park includes Manteca’s first estate-style neighborhood where all homes will be built on lots of 10,000 square feet or larger.
The estate-style gated neighborhood may have as many as 88 homes and will be located in the southeastern portion of Griffin Park where the city’s long range vision calls for a transition to agricultural uses.
Most of the homes planned will consist of 4 to 7 homes per acre. That’s typical of the current development pattern south of the 120 Bypass.
Instead of being designed as a series of subdivisions, Griffin Park is envisioned as neighborhoods tied together with a series of linear parkways interconnecting four of the five planned parks as well as to bike lanes planned on Main Street. The fifth neighborhood park will have a linear parkway connecting it to the Main Street bike lane.
The design is so every home built will allow its residents to reach parks without driving or riding bicycles on two collector streets that would crisscross Griffin Park. Every home built will be within 2,500 feet of a park.
The also will be 65,340 square feet of commercial on the corner of the east-west collector and South Main Street north of Sedan Avenue. The building design standards would require that they blend into the neighborhood much like Pleasanton required with commercial areas immediately south of the Alameda Fairgrounds on an arterial in that city.
The project borders the west side of Main Street/Manteca Road from a point just south of Atherton Drive where a shopping center is planned to Sedan Avenue in the south. Part of Griffin Park reaches the west side of Tinnin Road with a fairly large chunk at one point crossing Tinnin Road.
A water analysis shows the current land uses — 261 acres of almonds, 45 acres of row crops, and 27 acres of small ranch-style properties — consume 1,686 acre feet of water a year. By contrast, the envisioned 1,301 homes, five parks, and greenbelts will use just over half that amount of water on an annual basis. The study noted Manteca’s sandy loam soil while fertile for crops does not hold water as well as other prime farm soils in the Central Valley. As a result, current irrigation practices such as sprinklers on a non-pressurized delivery system or flood irrigation requires more water to be effective in the growing of crops.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com