Residents of Springtime Estates — the residential tract west of Louise Avenue and east of Main Street that abuts Highway 99 — scored a victory on Tuesday night when they convinced the Manteca Planning Commission not to move forward with plans that would connect Askland Drive through to Northgate Drive as part of a proposed 158-home subdivision.
Taking a cue from Tony Marshall of MCR Engineering, who was there to represent land owner Toinette Rossi, the commission voted to make Askland Drive a cul-de-sac and allow it to continue on to Main Street as an emergency vehicle access point that will allow police officers and firefighters to use Main Street when necessary to reach the new construction homes.
Regular traffic will not be able to use the easement.
The recommendation of the planning commission will now be forwarded on to the Manteca City Council for their final approval and adoption — a general plan and zoning amendment that is required since the property is currently zoned for commercial use.
According to Manteca Planning Manager J.D. Hightower, the current zoning designation is emblematic of the past practice of dedicating too much property for commercial use, which the current economy will not support.
“Cities have vastly over-zoned commercial property, and that previous model doesn’t work well with the modern economy,” Hightower said. “And cities also have underestimated the amount of residential needed to support that commercial.”
The council will also consider the request to revise the units along the project’s eastern boundary — 15 in all — to single-family homes so that there won’t be two-story houses backing up to existing single-story homes, creating privacy issues.
A total of six letters were included with the packet that commissioners reviewed Tuesday from people who couldn’t attend the meeting, and a petition signed by 308 Springtime Estates residents was also submitted to show solidarity amongst the residents when it comes to ensuring that Askland Drive does not extend all the way through.
Interestingly enough, Marshall pointed out that the study commissioned by the city showed that none of the new homeowners would access their houses using that new extension, and only 10 existing homeowners would go that way on a given day — noting that the developer has no issues with the road not going all the way through just as long as it can be utilized as an emergency access point to provide the necessary second outlet for first responders.
The new houses, all 158 of them, will be constructed by D.R. Horton Homebuilders.
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