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1,532-home project before planners Tuesday
Griffin Park would bring housing as far to the south as the southwest corner of Manteca Road and Sedan Avenue. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Manteca’s largest ever residential development —1,532 proposed homes on 333.66 acres — builds on promises four local builders made nearly 20 years ago.

Griffin Park’s master plan and draft environmental impact report goes before the Manteca Planning Commission when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

The gist of the promise made by Mike Atherton, Bill Filios, Albert Boyce and Toni Raymus was that future development south of the 120 Bypass would flow seamlessly into what has been built and would have further enhancements.

The locally-based builders well in advance of the project even nearing construction — the earliest any work could start is expected to be 2019 — have already agreed to being included in a Mello-Roos district to assist in Manteca Unified school constriction in addition to paying school fees for every square foot of homes built.

The 2019 target is realistic as Raymus Homes and Atherton Homes are expected to exhaust their respective inventory of buildable land by then.

The parks and street lighting will all be in a community facilities district meaning the city’s general plan will not be on the hook for their upkeep. Instead a yearly fee will be assessed homeowners.

The project — like all new developments — is being built with purple pipe to eventually allow treated wastewater to irrigate parks and landscape areas.

Mike Atherton said there are no high density residential uses within Griffin Park.

“That belongs along the 120 Bypass and Atherton Drive,” Atherton said.

He noted local developers played a key role in shaping the general plan that calls for apartments along the 120 Bypass and Atherton Drive to serve as a buffer to traditional single family homes. Atherton is among the parties involved with the apartments now under construction at Van Ryn and Atherton as well as efforts underway to put in more complexes near The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley.

“Apartments should be near the commercial and restaurants,” Atherton said. “It makes sense.”


Includes 88-home gated

community with

executive-sized lots

In terms of land use, 1,444 homes will be built in neighborhoods ranging from 4 to 7 homes per acre with 88 lots in a gated community with executive lot sizes ranging from 0.5 to 4 homes per acre in the southern part of the project as the transition starts to agricultural uses. The project borders the west side of Main Street/Manteca Road from a point just south of Atherton Drive where SaveMart plans to anchor a shopping center 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.

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 linear parks will be similar to the east side of Van Ryn Avenue between Atherton Drive and Woodward Avenue that was developed by Atherton Homes. It will feature a meandering pathway with heavy landscaping along a sound wall and trees within a wide grass area between the sidewalk and the curb. No driveways will cross the pathway.

The master plan allows the developers to place enhancements such as benches, trash receptacles, dog waste stations, exercise stations, shade structures and even concrete checkers/chess boards along the paths.

The design is made to sure that 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.

At the heart of Griffin Park is a “central park” split in two by an envisioned east-west collector street that could double end up being part of an expressway in the future based on the city’s current general plan. To eliminate safety concerns. the linear park bicycle paths will connect with paths in the central park that will either be routed through a traffic signal — much like happens along the Tidewater Bike Path where is crosses Union Road, Northgate Drive and Lathrop Road at mid-block — or a grade separation. If that was the option pursued, it would likely be an under crossing of the street that would tie into sidewalks and bicycle paths while meeting Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for the slope and access.


Griffin Park ups standards

for street landscaping

The east-west collector would have a sound wall, then eight feet of heavy landscaping with trees and shrubs, a 10-foot bike path, a 6-foot minimum landscape area with trees, a 5-foot on the street bike lane, two 11-foot travel lanes, a 14-foot median with a depressed center designed specifically for enhanced drainage and the ability to have trees that can grow to “stately” proportions” without creating easement issues, two more 11-foot travel lanes, a 5-foot on the street bike lane, another 6-foot minimum area with trees and landscaping, a 5-foot sidewalk, and 8 feet more of heavy landscaping with sound walls serving as book ends. Entry streets will be similar to the east-west collector minus a travel lane in each direction with 5-foot sidewalks and a wider landscape area of 10 feet between the sidewalk and the curb. Entry streets — when all enhancements are taken into account — would be 90 feet wide.

Tinnin Road would have landscaping similar to the west side of Van Ryn Avenue between Atherton Drive and Woodward Avenue. There would be a sound wall, eight feet of landscaping, a 5-foot sidewalk, a 5-foot bike lane, an 11-foot travel lane a 12-foot landscaped median with trees, an 11-foot travel lane, five-foot sidewalk, 8 feet of landscaping and a sound wall.

The project will also include bus turnouts wherever Manteca Transit may require them presumably along South Main Street.


Commercial area would

blend into neighborhood

architectural styles

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 master plan will allow for treatments to soften the visual harshness of driveways, garages, and the front facades of homes.

It calls for options such as paver driveways, using bricks or pavers to create “design bands” in driveways, and allowing shared driveways where adjacent homes have side-loaded garages. Detached garages as well as garages that are significantly recessed can have “Hollywood” driveways where low ground cover or grass is planted between two concrete strips.

Homes that have garages as part of the front elevation could employ “mild” or “deep” recessed garages. That means the garage would be set behind the front elevation to soften the visual impact garages. The master plan will also allow porte cocheres — or a covered area — in front of the garage to provide cover and possibly connect to a courtyard. They would be allowed only with “mild” or “deep” recessed garages.  

The four primary developers involved — farmer Daryll Quersma is also part of the development partnership — before Manteca’s last major growth spurt about 20 years ago pushed for upgraded neighborhood development standards and promised to continue to carry those designs out and enhance them as they built homes in future years.

Raymus’ handiwork at the time was concentrated in northwest Manteca with Chadwick Square and subsequent projects that encompassed features that were a departure from the Manteca norm to that point including enhanced sound wall landscaping and recessed garages with “Hollywood” driveways.

Atherton and his partners opened up the south of Manteca to develop essentially gifting 52 acres to the city for $1 to develop Woodward Park on top of paying 100 percent of growth-related park fees. They substantially exceeded Manteca development standards at the time with sound walls as well as associated landscaping and even a faux paus lake. They noted at the time they intended to build on what they were developing.

“Griffin Park has been 18 years in the making,” Atherton said.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email