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Developer plans 125 half-plexs
An example of modern halfplex designs

Manteca’s largest ever at-market attainable housing project is about to start the environmental review gauntlet.

The City Council Tuesday hired Raney Planning Management for $202,016 to do the review for the Hat Ranch project proposed by Richland Communities featuring 739 housing units on 189 acres where the three-story, 30,000-square-foot Hat Mansion now stands in southeast Manteca.

The developer is required to pay for the study that is conducted by a consultant selected by the city.

The project features 125 half-plexes. They are basically duplexes that are built so each unit can be sold separately. It is the first project ever proposed south of the 120 Bypass that is neither a traditional free-standing single family home or an apartment complex.

It is the first half-plex project in Manteca since 2005 when a dozen or so were built on Pearl Place off of Alameda Street west of Walnut Street.

Forty-eight of the half-plex units would be along the extension of Polk Street that is now stubbed at the eastern boundary of Evans Estates. The design of interior streets in the Evans Estates neighborhood and the Hat Ranch project makes the most direct and fastest way for future half-plex owners to get in and out of the neighborhood is to use the Raymus Expressway.

The 77 dwelling units described as “half-plex court” homes will back up to Raymus Expressway and Atherton Drive in the southeast corner of the neighborhood across from the school and second park site.

The half-plexes are designed to offer smaller at-market housing units on smaller lots that would be more attainable for buyers who rely on Manteca based employment or that in nearby valley cities as opposed to significantly higher checks from Bay Area jobs.

More than half of the dwelling units — 410 homes — will be east of Pillsbury where the bulk of the higher density housing would be built along with a future elementary school site for the Ripon Unified School District. That is being done in an effort to get most trips to and from those homes to use the extension of Atherton Drive south of Woodward Avenue. Atherton Drive will have a connection built by Caltrans to Austin Road as part of the third phase of the $154 million Highway 99/120 Bypass interchange access to provide the shortest distance to local freeways.

Given the entire southern part of the neighborhood borders the alignment for the Raymus Expressway section that will be built is also key to minimizing traffic impacts on the existing section of Pillsbury Road as well as streets in adjacent neighborhoods.

There are four lots sizes for traditional single family homes ranging from 7,000 feet that will back up to existing homes on the same sized lots already in place to 4,500-square-foot lots. 

The neighborhood — if annexed and developed — greatly increases the prospects for Ripon Unified to develop an elementary campus. That’s because at buildout between existing students in the area — many who are within two blocks walking distance to Woodward School that is part of the Manteca Unified School District —  and future families will put the student enrollment at a tipping point to justify an elementary school to effectively end busing more than five miles one way.

The project includes two park sites. One would more than double the existing Pillsbury Estates Park while the second would be adjacent to the school site that is less than a block west of Atherton Drive.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email