Tonight, the planning commission will review the largest residential development slated for Tracy this year.
The 103-home Tiburon Village subdivision will face its first round of public review, and the planning commission will vote on the project’s proposed look and layout. The City Council is expected to follow the commission’s recommendation when it votes on the plan, probably this March, a city planner said.
Tiburon Village is set to be built on an 18-acre walnut orchard located on the west side of MacArthur Drive, north of Valpico Road. The developer, Kimball Hill Homes, plans to buy the property from the Thrasher family and start work by August, with the first homes scheduled for completion next spring. Before any homes are built, the developer must get permits, level the ground and lay pipes, city planners say.
Also, planners say Tiburon will not exceed the 100-home limit on construction imposed by Measure A. The only other substantial residential project lined up is a 95-house development that is unlikely to be approved this year.
The Tiburon project has inched forward for five years due to a number of setbacks related to the area’s landscape, bordering properties and death.
The owner of an undeveloped commercial lot next door died of cancer, and that complicated efforts to win permission to have roads and drainage pipes cross the property.
In 2002, Kimball’s planning consultant, Dick Cecchi, died of natural causes, causing further setbacks. But most time-consuming of all was mapping how to build on unusually uneven terrain.
“This is like the hilliest piece of property in the whole darn city,” said Victoria Lombardo, a city planner who has nursed the project since its infancy.
After huddling with the city for so long, the Chicago-based developer expects little opposition from the planning commission or the City Council.
“I’m pretty optimistic about the commission’s approval,” said Bill Stanton, Kimball Hills’ entitlement director in Sacramento. “We’ve been planning this with the city over the last five years and have worked especially closely on the architecture over the last 12 months.”
Stanton says few of the homes will look the same, and a road will be built straight to a nearby shopping center also on the drawing board. The two goals were laid out in the city’s 2007 general plan, which was approved last July.
This project is “extremely unique” Lombardo says.
Although Councilwoman Evelyn Tolbert is leading a charge for more affordable housing units in the area, none of Tiburon homes will be categorized as such. Kimball plans to set their house prices later in the year, basing them off surrounding market levels.
Tolbert could not be reached for comment.
To contact reporter Niko Kyriakou, call 830-4274, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.