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Vista Verde expansion gets OK from planners
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A proposal to build an additional 19 apartment units at the Vista Verde complex in the 400 block of Eastwood Avenue in north Manteca is sparking neighborhood worries about traffic safety.

The Manteca Planning Commission approved the project that now goes before the City Council on Tuesday, Oct. 6, for its final blessing.

The project site is located along a curved portion of Eastwood Avenue that is zoned R-3 multi-family residential. It is surrounded by high density residential parcels running west to Stonewood Avenue. The proposed apartments are just south of Northgate Drive and about a quarter mile west of North Main Street.

The complex will be a blend of two and three story buildings, independent of each other, with covered and non-covered parking areas as proposed by Mike Sessions of NSR Architects of Manteca.  Sessions is also doing the drawings for an in-fill apartment development on Fremont Avenue north of Center Street.

One nearby resident of the Villa Vista project —  Laura Stone — has lived in the neighborhood for the last 40 years on the corner of Eastwood Avenue and Northgate Drive.

 “Through the years I have experienced how growth has impacted the safety and the neighborhood environment.  For many years now I had hopes the empty lot across the street from Manteca Care and Rehab on Eastwood Avenue would be the relief with parking spaces for doctors, employees and visitors for not only the nursing home but for the many apartments and duplexes that already exist,” Stone said.

She fears the congestion that the plan is going to cause with one car for each bedroom that equates to 40 to 50 more cars and less street parking.  Stone urged planners to drive through the neighborhood and observe the car-lined streets when everyone is home from work and school.  She said that some residents – even now – are forced to park in their yards due to the lack of available parking.  Stone added it is dangerous to pull out of Eastwood onto Northgate Drive with the fast-moving cross traffic.

The project includes five separate buildings with two and three story buildings throughout the site.  Buildings one and two are to be identical and will be located on the northwest portion of the property.

Each of these two buildings will be three stories high and will contain four two-bedroom units on each of the three levels.  Building three will contain four units with a pair of two bedroom units on each level. Building four will be utilized as an office, shop and storage area for the apartment complex.  Building five will front on the street and be three stories high, containing three units, each with three bedrooms.

Developers say the site plan has been designed to minimally impact the existing neighborhood.  The three-story buildings have been oriented away from the existing single story duplexes and adjacent to the surrounding multiple family developments.

The city staff worked with the project proponent to design the site to maximize density while carefully designing the open space areas to provide the greatest benefit to the future tenants, according to the planning report.

There would be 39 parking stalls within the property layout, four less than normally required because of the purported available parking on the street also used by visitors to the skilled nursing facility across the street.

To contact Glenn Kahl email or call 209.249.3539