In the coming months, the Merced County Planning Commission is expected to see a plan for a new housing subdivision in Planada, the first in about a decade, according to county officials.
The subdivision was on the commission’s agenda last week, when it was to consider approval of the plans. But the project was rescheduled for a future commission meeting, according to Mark Hendrickson, Merced County director of community and economic development.
County officials and the subdivision’s developer will continue to meet to work out more details on the project before it can be officially presented to the county’s Planning Commission in the coming months, he said.
The subdivision, called Buena Vista I, is proposed to be 221 lots on roughly 60 acres on the northwest corner of East Childs Avenue and North Plainsburg Road in Planada. The land is currently being used to grow almonds, Hendrickson said.
“Upon the Planning Commission’s consideration, this project certainly has the potential to provide meaningful construction opportunities,” he said.
The community plan for Planada already designates that the land could be used for low-density residential homes and light manufacturing. The commission would be asked to approve the zone change to allow the homes, a 14-acre business park and a 2-acre neighborhood park.
The project is considerably larger than the last set of new homes in Planada, which was five lots in 2007. The most recent subdivision before that was made up of 46 lots and was approved in 2002.
Brandon Ruscoe, an associate broker with Merced Yosemite Realty in Merced, has sold homes and managed properties in the Planada area for several years. He said Planada was hit hard with foreclosures, much like Merced, when the housing bubble burst about a decade ago.
221Number of lots in proposed new subdivision in Planada
The area has seen some interest from investors, he said, and the approval of a new subdivision would be good news for the area.
“There’s a complete lack of sales inventory out there,” Ruscoe said.
According to county records, the new lots would be 5,000 to 6,000 square feet. Ruscoe said that would make them similar in size to many of the other lots in Planada.
He said many homebuyers who have been on the fence or who can’t afford prices in Merced would likely look at buying homes in Planada.
“When inventory is tight like that, they end up competing with investors,” he said.
Proposed Buena Vista I subdivision
NUMBER OF LOTS: 221
SIZE OF LOTS: 5,000 to 6,000 square feet
SIZE OF SUBDIVISION: 60 acres
BUSINESS PARK: 14.3 acres
NEIGHBORHOOD PARK: 2.1 acres