Residents wary of proposed apartment complex
by Jon Mendelson
Dec 14, 2012 | 5622 views | 39 39 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
John Phillips discusses a proposed apartment housing complex for part of the lot behind him on Monday Dec. 10.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
John Phillips discusses a proposed apartment housing complex for part of the lot behind him on Monday Dec. 10. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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John Phillips can stand on his front lawn and behold a vista of Mount Oso and the Altamont Hills. But the nine-year resident of 181 DeBord Drive is afraid of what he might be able to see in the near future — two apartment complexes with a total of 244 units.

Two landowners have proposed building the apartments on the north side of Valpico Road at the dead end of Glenbriar Drive, about 500 yards southeast of Phillips and his Ashley Park neighborhood. The landowners could receive the go-ahead to start building from the Tracy City Council at a Tuesday, Dec. 18, meeting.

The 184-unit Valpico Apartments and 60-unit MacDonald Apartments are planned for land previously designated for a shopping center west of the Rite Aid on Valpico Road and MacArthur Drive, according to city of Tracy planner Alan Bell.

He said the apartments should fit well in the area.

They qualify as infill development because they are surrounded by other residential areas, he said, and although they would stand three stories tall, only the top story or so would be visible from street level, as the building site dips as far as 15 feet below Valpico Road.

“We saw how well it fit in with other city general plan (goals),” Bell said. “From a land-use perspective, it seemed like one of the favorable characteristics of the site is there are very few single-family homes adjacent to the site. … It’s not right on top of them.”

A swath of vacant land will separate the apartments from Ashley Park. Even so, Phillips fears the development will increase traffic and decrease property values.

“I’m not saying you don’t need apartments and people don’t need places to live, but it matters where you put them,” said the 61-year-old Vietnam-era Army veteran.

The apartment complexes could pave the way, he said, for Glenbriar Drive to be extended north to DeBord Drive from its dead end at Valpico Road. A short spur named Stalsburg Drive that juts south from DeBord would be a natural connection point, Phillips said, to bring through traffic to the area.

“One of the nicest things about Ashley Park is it’s one way in and one way out,” Phillips said.

While the Valpico and MacArthur apartment plans don’t explicitly call for Glenbriar’s extension, Bell said Glenbriar could be built through to Stalsburg if the vacant land between the proposed apartments and Ashley Park were developed.

“It’s zoned for residential development, and it’s reasonable to imagine that someday residential development will occur on (that) property,” Bell said.

Phillips sees that possibility — and its impact on his neighborhood — as a foregone conclusion if the council approves the apartments.

“They’ve opened the door,” he said.

He and many neighbors were caught off guard by the project, which was given a preliminary stamp of approval Nov. 14 by the Tracy Planning Commission. Phillips said only a few people in Ashley Park received notices that the matter was going before the commission.

One of them was Gabriel Leal, who lives two blocks east of Phillips and just west of Strasburg Drive.

Leal, Phillips and several other Ashley Park residents attended the Nov. 14 planning commission meeting to protest the proposed apartments.

“What bothers me personally is most people weren’t notified,” Leal said. “I think most people are concerned, but they don’t know the impact (of the project).”

Phillips said it looked as though the city was not being open about the proposed development.

“I’m a citizen of this town, I have a voice, and I have a right to be informed about what’s going on,” Phillips said.

Bell confirmed that only a few people in the Ashley Park neighborhood were informed about the Nov. 14 meeting through a formal notice. While state law mandates that property owners within 300 feet of a project’s borders be warned about such a meeting, Bell said the city gave out more notice regarding the planning commission meeting than required.

The city is going even further regarding the upcoming City Council meeting — Bell said 718 addresses as far as 950 feet from the apartment project site were notified. Leal said he received one of those notices earlier this week.

“Transparency, getting the word out, is of primary importance to us for any project, but especially those that might generate public interest,” Bell said.

Eric Taylor, who owns the site of the Valpico Apartments, said the two complexes are designed as upper-end complexes with social spaces, a lap pool and large living spaces.

“It appeared that there was a strong need in Tracy … for more good-quality market rate apartments,” Taylor said. “That’s what we emphasized here, is looking for apartments that are more modern, that have more amenities.”

Phillips, however, said he expected developers and the city to look back in a few years and have second thoughts about the project.

“I think they’ve picked a bad site,” he said.

Though Phillips admits he would be less affected than Ashley Park residents who live closer to MacArthur and Stalsburg drives, he’s determined to stand up for his neighborhood.

“I’m not just in it for me,” he said. “I’m in it for the point of it, and for the people down the street.”

• Contact Jon Mendelson at 830-4231 or jmendelson@tracypress.com.
Comments
(39)
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CaringVoter
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December 21, 2012
These units are supposed to rent for $1600 for one bedroom and $2500 for a condo unit. How is that affordable?? The builders said it will attract high salaried, 30 somethings who can live where ever they want. SInce there is nothing to do here and that rent will require a job with a 2-3 hour daily commute, I doubt Tracy will be anyones first choice. As an Ashley Park resident, we should be more concerned with the already ridiculous traffic on MacArthur and Valpico. These apartments are the trees-at the end of the driveway is the rest of the forest that will be affected by them.
LuckyInTracyNot
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December 19, 2012
Look, it isn't the apartments or the people they bring, it is some of the people they bring and the crime that follows. So, yes it boils down to not wanting apartments in an area where homes are a investment and neighborhoods are safe. For now.
dambriz81
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December 19, 2012
This is for all the negativity on this post. Apartments are not the end of the world. It will bring in more people to the community that will help the city with revenue by shopping in town, buying fast food, buying gas down the street, putting their children into the schools, working the jobs in town that you think you are too high and mighty for. So if you think it's the end of the world go ahead and talk with a realtor about putting up your home on the market. This is the best time as there is virtually nothing For Sale and you will get top dollar within a week. So go ahead and help out the real estate market.
ciscokid52
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December 19, 2012
And..........why is it that there are NO other locations to put an apartment complex within the city? In doing so, you'd still accomplish your carbon copy crap response of "support the local community". I'll tell you what - never buy anything online, out of state, or never go on vacation either. Stay within city limits as if you have a probationary pager on your anke. Cool? Lead by example.
dambriz81
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December 19, 2012
cisco-I'm just saying that all these negative posts are slamming the "kind" of people that live in apartments. When we start out after high school we don't have instant money to put down on a house to buy. No, you do what you can and have to start somewhere, and unfortunately there are some that never make it ahead in life. Yes there are the people on Section 8 who choose to live that lifestyle because the system allows them to. But things happen in life and they have to depend on Social Security or pension and are forced to live in low income apartments just so they can have a few bucks left to feed themselves. So until you can open your mind to other people and situations in the world, live your sheltered life in your own home.
1resident
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December 19, 2012
Calm down everyone. I will quote our previous Mayor, The Honorable Dan Bilbrey, when confronted with a disgruntled crowd of homeowners protesting at a town hall meeting 10 years or so ago, the building of the Chesapeake Bay apartment complex at the west end of Lowell. With a straight face, "Mayor Dan" as he liked to be called, consoled the naive, over-reacting, room full of dummies, by saying, and I will paraphrase, "These apartments will be home to your firefighters, law officers, nurses and city workers". He spoke as though the room was full of 4th graders.

Well, visit the Tracy Police Department, if you want to know, ask for the blotter of activity that goes on there. Actually, I know a member of the force, he saved me the time and effort by saying, "You don't want to know".
tobyintracy
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December 19, 2012
Did anyone attend the meeting last night and what was the results
me-here
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December 19, 2012
The Council meeting ran until well after 1:00a.m.

The apartments are a go.
ciscokid52
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December 18, 2012
Oh - by the way, all of who who disagree with these apartments, you'll LOVE this. Next to these apartments, there is ANOTHER 60-unit apartment complex to be called MacDonald apartments which are basically east of Raley's. So now there isn't one problem, but there are two. Excellent.
PublicCitizen
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December 19, 2012
Better sell your house and get out before your property values go down. Oh wait, they already have.

It sucks to be you.
ciscokid52
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December 19, 2012
Great - another renting retard on a rampage. My home hasn't dropped in value yet moron.
ciscokid52
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December 18, 2012
Anyone catch the meeting today?
ney
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December 17, 2012
Seriously people. Grow up!!! There is nothing wrong with apts going up. We have very nice apts in our neighborhood on the same side of Tracy (Edgewood) This is the reason some of you have spoiled brat kids. Don't tell me they don't have smart phones at 10 either. Build the apts and share the neighborhood! You want to live n a make believe world? I have an island to sell you!
LuckyInTracyNot
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December 17, 2012
We have lived in your world. We were raised just like everybody else, if we were as fortunate as you say we would be living in Beverly Hills and our bratty kids can beat up your stick people kids. We for the most part worked very hard and love our community just like it is and dumping a low rent complex will lower our home values and will also see a up-tick in vandalisum and robbery's. We read the Tracy Press and see what occures at the complex on Grantline Road. Not in our back yard. Have a Merry Christmas yo!
tracyresdnt
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December 15, 2012
This will be a total disaster. Sneaky is right. Renters are not invested in a neighborhood like an owner. City council voting for this is a vote for crime to go up. That fact is simply not refutable.
LuckyInTracyNot
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December 15, 2012
and ps. Tracy's south east and some south west area and golf course areas have always been a desired area to live and some work hard to move there. why can't the city of tracy leaders just leave it alone so others can at least enjoy an area to look forward and buy in with out the worry of trouble in these areas. I mean come on, gheewizz man, lets make everybody miserable equally right? if someone pees the bed lets make sure everyone has there section of the sheets peed on too. stupid empathy. property values. we can hear you now, oh no these are nice hard working people. build it and forget about it and say oh well while values go to hell.
landingapproach
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December 15, 2012
What hypocrisy. The residents at Glenbriar could show a little human empathy and be thrilled that others who may not be as financially well off will have an affordable place to live and raise their own families. What the heck is with the "not in my neighborhood" attitude toward fellow human beings. People are people and just because they live in an apartment rather than a 3,000 square foot home does not make them any less important. Please Glenbriar residents - treat your potential fellow neighbor with love and respect.
ciscokid52
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December 15, 2012
I don't live in Glenbriar but I can see the logic for those residents. What's the point in paying in excess for properties when developments like this only de-value the home YOU are responsible for paying for which means less or no equity. That would be like saying why aren't there section 8 housing complexes in the Oakland Hills rather than off 98th or Fruitvale, for example.

Remember when the article came out about the homelss shelter/home that is right in the middle of a housing community? Are the concerns of those homeowners not justified either?
Sneaky
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December 15, 2012
You cant blame the homeowners for not wanting a huge apartment complex to move into their neighborhood. It will just add noise and traffic to the neighborhood while bringing down the value of surrounding homes. I am all for folks who cant afford houses having places to live but buildings like that should be put in appropriate locations. The fact is that, whatever our sympathies for those who can only afford an apartment, they are short-term tenants and therefore dont care much about the community. I have rented to enough folks to know that renters simply dont take care of their dwelling or the surrounding area like someone who has a long term investment interest.
LuckyInTracyNot
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December 15, 2012
show a little human empathy and be thrilled

Are you kidding me? After it gets built the residents will not show any empathy towards Greenbriar. There are always some schmuck gangbanger who comes along and screws it up for what was once a great neighborhood. Go build it in your own back yard or your elderly parents backyard or your childerens backyards. You saw the shooting on Grantlines low rent apartments? Empathy a gangster drug dealer with his 9mm.

empathy my b*tt!
PublicCitizen
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December 14, 2012
If you guys need life jackets to save youself from all of your houses being underwater, Wal Mart sells them cheap.

Oh wait, I forgot you "classy ones" live on the "High end" of town. Not to worry, I saw some at Coach in the new outlets in Livermore. right next to the $4,000 purses. They'll go great together. They even have your favorite color- red.
ciscokid52
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December 14, 2012
Sooooooooooo....you've obviously been there. Shop downtown and support your local businesses instead. Isn't that what most of you preech all day here?
ciscokid52
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December 14, 2012
@oldleathers - It won't, partner. Your carriage won't be far behind. Your open range in the city shrinks by the day and you know it!
ciscokid52
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December 14, 2012
I agree with your comments living in Elissagaray Ranch and my parents in Linne Estates. I love our side of town and I can't help but to think that the standards of living in the area are going to be shot to hell now that cheap living is going to emerge. And, don't think for a second that government assistance programs won't get people paying $300/month in rent there. I will be there at the city council meeting - my first ever. If this passes I will definitely sell my home quicker and head back to Dublin if need be.
oldleathers
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December 14, 2012
Don't let the door hit u in the a$$ on yer way out!
beepbeepcomingthrough
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December 14, 2012
This is the worst idea in a long time. This is going to bring down the value of homes in the area because of the people who will be living in these apartments. Crime will go up on this side of town, which is the classiest and highest end of our town. Why not put up a apartment complex on larch road where the new apartment tenants can be close to their family members.
TracyResident007
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December 14, 2012
Seriously beepbeep? Are you insinuating that ALL people who live in apartments are criminal? Yes I believe you are. Let me enlighten you ... some people don't have homes, or can't get them -- so they reside in apartments. ALL kinds of people do this ... good and bad people.

Don't go around trashing people you don't know. You're showing your intelligence and just how classless YOU truly are!

I've got a great idea... you don't like living here anyways ... so why don't you just move yourself away BEFORE the apartments get built. Problem solved.
Sneaky
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December 15, 2012
I dont see where beep said that all people that live in apartments are criminals, simply that crime will go up if the apartment complex goes in. I suspect he/she is right.

While it is true that all kinds of people live in apartments they do seem to harbor a larger proportion of folks that dont care for the neighborhood and/or engage in crime.
beepbeepcomingthrough
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December 16, 2012
tracyresident...oh you are so wrong! I love my town...and when i say my town. I mean MY TOWN!!!! born and raised and never leaving. These apartments in question is where i grew up and was once my play ground with all my buddies. So dont sit there and tell me about what i know buddy!!! This is a trash idea and will trash the value even worse of once were 800,000-1.5 million dollar homes which are now at around half a million. You can kiss my you know what buddy...because this is about money and quality of life stuff i am talking about. You build this new apartment complex you let in people who have not worked as hard and who are not as fortunate into an area where the more fortunate and the harder working belong! Ya i said it!!! And i mean it!!! We are the locals, the upper class, the small business owners, your bosses, your secret santas for the community, your property owners around town!!!! We worked hard for ourselves and our families to put ourselves in a safe community and raise our families away from other families!!! Which are the ones who will be moving into these apartments. We are all on different pay scales and intelligence scales....so deal with it!
dcose
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December 16, 2012
Strangling property rights while giving yourself, your ilk, and your class warfare a black eye.

Merry Christmas.

beepbeepcomingthrough
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December 17, 2012
riding your bike, eating a twinkie, trying to keep your cheeks in your lane after asking locals stupid questions at an event that leaves us talking about you as you walk away. BTW be more like your brother.
TracyResident007
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December 17, 2012
All I can say beepbeep is that your attitude and view/empathy for your fellow human beings disgusts me. I pray that the majority of people who live in Tracy are more caring and compassionate than you will ever be.

By the way, I live in your neighborhood. I know you and you know me. We're put on this earth to help our fellow man... not to stomp on him. God forbid your circumstances should ever change where you would become one whose only option is an apartment.
dcose
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December 17, 2012
Please explain the relationship between my bike, Twinkies, and my cheeks vs property rights. I am unable to see your connection.

Why would I be interested in your opinion of me ?

You've already established yourself as a man of low character with an even lower intellect.
oldleathers
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December 17, 2012
beepbeep....though the homes you mention may have sold at $800,000 to $1.5 mil they were never worth it. those that bought got taken and now the real value exists....just sayin
Seek_the_Truth
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December 14, 2012
By all means, if you oppose the appartments, tell the City Council on the 18th. I'm sure some of them live near the site and won't want appartments in their neighborhood either.
Tracytownexpert
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December 14, 2012
I agree with Chris's comments, I reside in the

Custom Estate homes right down the road from

This site.They are using prime land in Tracy''s

Most desired area and putting in apartments

Amazing!!!
ChrisRoberts
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December 14, 2012
Once again land owners, sleazeball developers, and the crooked mayor attempt to slum up Tracy. So a few usual suspect-good ole boys can line their pockets.

Stop the Oaklandization of Tracy! I live off Valpico and the last thing we need is a ghetto here. Police take 30 minutes to show up as it is, you build some ghetto apartments and it is going to be a mess.

A total of 244 apartments. So that is 244 apartments for families that will come from Oakland, North Richmond, and other communities.

Residents not notified about the planned development? Sounds like business as usual with the gangsters who run our city council!

Welcome to New Stockton, folks!
PublicCitizen
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December 14, 2012
2843 St Martins Way is a ghetto.
walkingtall
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December 19, 2012
I wish you all in that area the best of luck when they get built. I live near the Chesapeake Bay apartment and I can tell you first hand it brings in it's share of problems. We packed the house at council meetings, gathered thousands of signatures and they got built anyways. They even promised to have on site security all of which was a lie. What I learned from all of this is that by the time you go to the city council meeting to rant and rave like I and others did, they had long already made there decision to build Chesapeake Bay. Most people that live in these apartments are just fine people, it's many of the section 8 people that ruin the place for all the good folks. Yes, the Tracy PD is plenty familiar with the Chesapeake Bay apartments. About the only good thing I can say about the complex is that they do take good care of the outside of the complex. Good Luck!


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