Exciting times for development in Patterson should provoke cautious, thoughtful planning
by PI Staff
Jul 17, 2014 | 3343 views | 3 3 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s no surprise that the economy is on the rebound. New home construction is on the rise again here in Patterson, and distribution centers seem to be taking root nicely in the prime ag-land that once made this area famous for its apricots. Restoration Hardware has begun building the incoming 1.5 million square foot structure on their site in the Arambel Business Park. And rumors of a 1.8 and 1.2 million square foot distribution center around the corner could be just the tip of the iceberg if 21st-district Assemblyman Adam Gray is successful in pushing for Patterson to be the site of a 10 million square foot Tesla “gigafactory.”

All of a sudden the city seems to be clamoring to revive old housing projects. Interest in rebuilding the apartment complex that sat half-finished, and eventually burned at Ivy and Hwy 33, looks to be more of a reality, while city staff is working quickly to try and salvage the plans for the Villages of Patterson, which at one time touted an additional 3,100 housing units for the city.

Council and staff have endured many hours of closed session meetings regarding the purchase of property within the Mahaffey triangle along West Las Palmas Ave, and talks of a new Public Safety Facility that would house both fire and police under one roof have come to light.

It’s an exciting time for growth in the city of Patterson once again, and the city should really be taking the time to address what these additions and changes to our city will mean for the quality of life in Patterson for the decades to follow.

The reworking of the Villages of Patterson plans could be the largest variable in defining the city’s future quality of life.

For example, the Villages of Patterson project was master-planned over the course of many years and raised the bar for what housing in Patterson was going to look like. Previous subdivisions, such as Walker Ranch and Heartland Ranch, were used as examples on which to improve upon.

The final project touted open space corridors, walking and bike paths, varied housing densities, as well as a live/work commercial area, and a soccer complex, all unique and attractive design aspects for the city of Patterson.

Unfortunately, in order to fast track home construction on the Villages site, city officials are claiming that many of those attractive design elements will have to go to the wayside in order to make the site more marketable, meaning that the Villages of Patterson may turn out to just be a supersized Heartland Ranch.

Initial meetings for approval in 2006-07 were long and arduous, and much debate ensued before the final Villages product was chiseled out. During those meetings, lines of people formed behind the dais and out the door of the council chambers, each person asking for approval due to the variety of housing densities the project provided for.

To just throw those attractive elements of the Villages of Patterson out the window in order to appease the knee jerk need for more shovel-ready housing would do a disservice to all of those who fought long and hard to see a housing development that was supposed to be an improvement upon the existing subdivisions within the city.

It’s promising that our small city is at the forefront of a light industrial economic boom, but planners, officials, and the community at large must tread with the quality of life for future residents in mind.

The residents 30, 60 and 100 years from now will thank us for it.
Comments
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annettesmith
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July 18, 2014
Puff piece? The editorial speaks to concerns related to the Villages of Patterson that no longer have the overriding benefits to the community attached, and rightfully so. The project as it was presented years back had unique features that are no longer present. The last thing Patterson needs is more housing developments that look and feel like Walker and Heartland Ranch. The ability to pay for additional needed services goes out the window with a revised plan, and yes, quality of life will suffer.

Patterson2010
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July 19, 2014
Yes, puff piece. This paper prints continuous articles about how wonderful all these developments are including all these warehouses and how everything is great in Patterson. Meanwhile, we have been robbed twice in the last few months as have several of our neighbors. Three people were shot, one killed over the course of one weekend. Hearing shootings at night is becoming commonplace now.

Regarding the Villages of Patterson, anyone who read that plan could see when it was approved that the feasability of that plan was questionable. That plan is no longer feasible today nor will it be anytime soon. All the great features are pointless if a plan of that size can't operate in the black. In the end, I doubt that area would have been any better than Walker Ranch regardless. The needed services do not go out the window with a revised plan. The City will have to review those plans and reasses service requirements. Substantial changes would require an amended or additionl EIR. It is up to the city to scrutinize any revisions. Judging by the way the general plan and Arambel projects were scrutinized by the City, it is questionable as to whether they will sufficiently vet these plans. The city's (and developers) rationale for needing more homes is flawed to begin with. And the quality of life has already suffered quite a bit.
Patterson2010
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July 17, 2014
another puff piece


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