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Rethinking Oakwood Shores
High-end neighborhood may annex to Manteca
Oakwood Shores could be annexed to Manteca. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Back in the heady days of housing in 2005, Oakwood Shores was rolled out as the premier South County gated community with the region’s largest self-contain lake.

Lake front homes with then unique stone floors and second floor master bedroom suites overlooking the water were selling for $895,000.

Then the foreclosure crisis pulled the rug out from under new housing developments. Oakwood Shores - which had to go back and redo its lake design to meet stringent state water quality control standards - was trying to take off at the same time housing prices were starting to come down.

What followed was the biggest residential property foreclosure in San Joaquin County. Making matters worse over a dozen lenders had a piece of the action making the efforts to get the project on track again complicated and time consuming.

The project is ready to go forward again. This time around new developers want to build as part of the City of Manteca as well as rethink the concept of 480 luxury free-standing luxury homes. They are toying with the idea of adding high density, upper end housing into the mix.

Issues with wastewater disposal are prompting the developers to make inquiries about annexing to Manteca.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin noted that the discussions are just in the preliminary stages. She added it is not clear whether the annexation would also include the Oakwood Mobile Home Park on the western edge of the project.

The development - and the mobile home park - is currently served by what is called a package plant for treating wastewater. It is too limited to allow further development.

McLaughlin said Manteca has wastewater treatment plant capacity to accommodate Oakwood Shores should the City Council opt to move forward once an agreement is reached.

Ironically, should annexation occur, it will mark the first time that the site of Manteca Waterslides - forever tied to Manteca in the minds of many Northern Californians - will actually be within the city limits of Manteca. The water slides were closed and land sold by the Brown family to allow the Oakwood Shores project to move forward.

The project is within Manteca’s sphere of influence which means the county has identified it as a logical addition to the city.

The Oakwood Shores project owners are gearing up for the next housing rebound just as another group is moving forward with plans to build 1,650 living units as part of the Trails of Manteca immediately to the south.

The proposed Trails neighborhood located in the southwest portion of the city at the western end of Woodward Avenue is the first that will have common areas - including 75 acres of parkland - irrigated with reclaimed water from the Manteca wastewater treatment plant.

The planned Trails of Manteca definitely won’t be a typical Manteca neighborhood.

It will bump the 1,450-lot Del Webb at Woodbridge as Manteca’s largest subdivision when it is built out. It will have 1,650 dwelling units. That includes 1,178 single family homes, 192 townhomes, and 280 apartments.

What makes it different, though, are its features:

•It will have 75 acres of parks land and open space that is roughly five times the current ratio of parkland to a single family home in a typical development.

•Setbacks for front, back and side yards will be shortened to accommodate smaller single-family homes that in turn is expected to keep housing prices down.

•Back yards that border parkland and open space will have wrought iron “view fences”.

•It will include seven roundabouts including two on Woodward Avenue.

•There will be three bus turnouts on key streets including two on Woodward Avenue which is another first for Manteca.

•All street maintenance and operating costs will be collapsed into the landscape maintenance district.

•Sidewalks will be separated from the street by a grass strip.

•It will include a clubhouse for residents.

•There will be 12 miles of trails for bicycles and pedestrians within the neighborhood.

Two other projects being advanced along with the Trails of Manteca will bring the number of housing units being created to more than 2,910 housing units between McKinley Avenue south of the Highway 120 Bypass and a slough that drains into the San Joaquin River. That’s after the Trails of Manteca and Oakwood Shores are factored into the equation.

The other two are:

•Machado Estates with 575 lots is located on the southwest corner of Airport Way and Woodward Avenue.

•Terra Ranch near McKinley Avenue and the Highway 120 Bypass. It features 193 lots that will be developed by Anderson Homes and a 200-unit apartment complex being pursued by ANF Development.

Terra Ranch in all likelihood will be the first of the three to break ground as it is near existing infrastructure – sewer and water lines.