The City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously 4-0 to amend a 10-year-old annexation agreement and allow a 231 single-family home development to move forward, despite opposition by neighboring residents.
The Villas development, nestled between Whitehurst Funeral Chapel and the Cresthills subdivisions to the north and east, will contain custom, semi-custom and production homes ranging in lot sizes from 5,000 square feet to 21,000 square feet. A 4-acre dual-use park and water detention basin will also be included in the private, gated community.
“We think this is going to be one of the prettiest projects Los Banos has seen,” said Jeff Roberts, representative for developer Stonefield Home.
In order to approve the final development plan for the project Wednesday, the City Council had to amend an annexation plan adopted in 2006.
That plan provided for “a landscaped area and pathway” at the north end of the property, or what has been called a “greenbelt” walkway, as well as an extension of Cardoza Road that would connect Center Avenue to Bluff Drive at the bend.
Residents living in Bluff Court and Bluff Drive homes neighboring the northern edge of the property say they were promised 10 years ago that walkway and road extension would act as a buffer to the homes in the new subdivision.
However, while Stonefield’s modified plans included the Cardoza Road extension, it placed several homes between the neighboring residents and the road, adjoining backyards of the two developments. The new plans also got rid of the walkway.
“I would like City Council to stick up with the recommendation they made (in 2006),” said Darryl Lawrence, a Bluff Drive resident. “Just because 10 years have passed doesn’t mean things have changed that much.”
Greg Hostetler, the owner of Stonefield Home, previously said at those meetings he would talk with neighboring homeowners to come to some agreement. But no consensus was reached.
Roberts said Stonefield did accept several conditions on the final development plan by the Planning Commission before the advisory body unanimously voted to recommend approval.
Those conditions include building only one-story homes to match the neighboring one-story homes on Bluff Drive, requiring a 25-foot rear setback for the homes on the northern border and require a 7-foot masonry fence on the border between the Bluff Drive homes and the Villas homes.
However, Bluff Drive and Bluff Court residents still were not pleased with the plan.
Councilman Scott Silveira said there was only so much the City Council could require of the developer, and he felt Stonefield has attempted to address the residents’ concerns.
“I do understand your frustrations, but at this time I do feel we need to stick with the (recommendations).”
Vikaas Shanker: 209-826-3831, ext. 6562