A few of weeks ago, the heads of the city’s planning
department and engineering departments met with key developers and leaders of
the city’s slow-growth faction to discuss changes to the way Tracy wants to
plan for future growth.
On Tuesday night, the City Council is set to discuss some of
Planning director Bill Dean and engineering head Andrew
Malik presided over the meeting with key players that focused on upcoming
changes to the city’s slow growth law, but Tuesday night’s talk “is a
precursor,” Dean said, “an overview to growth management in general.”
It’ll be a month before city planners lay out a proposal about how it is that
building rights will be doled out — a huge issue because there are plans for
far more homes than there are rights to build them under Measure A, the law
that limits the number of new houses to 600 a year once a building moratorium
ends in 2012.
Planners will present to the council changes to what they
think the hierarchy should be when it comes time to build, with a citywide
master plan for roads, water and sewer pipes, and other basic infrastructure
needs, as one of the foundations for all development. The city’s general plan,
its blueprint for growth, is another. There could be changes about when
developers must pay their share of master plans, for instance.
But the council is set to discuss other aspects of growth as
well, including a proposal to bar new subdivision applications for the time
being in what are known as “urban reserves,” pockets of land outside city
limits that are earmarked for growth.
One possible casualty of that new rule is the proposed
Homewood development by the Keenan Land Company, which is not listed by the
City Council as a priority.
Keenan applied to build 638 detached home and another 150 or
so senior apartments, as well as some retail space, on 133 acres east of Corral
Hollow south of Valpico roads.
While planners say they’ll go ahead with The Surland
Company’s Ellis subdivision and possible water park, as well as Tracy’s Hills
planned development southwest of town, no new applications for homes will be
processed in urban reserves.
The council has told planners to move ahead with
and Ellis and also to explore ways to increase the city’s tax base, so the
Cordes Ranch commercial development west of town and also outside city limits,
will get some attention as well.