VACAVILLE — Residents who live in the area of the proposed Vanden Meadows project and in the nearby Southtown neighborhood voiced concern and asked questions Tuesday about the area during three Planning Commission public hearings on rezoning plans.
Two of the rezoning issues heard and recommended by commissioners pertained to the Vanden Meadows project – a 250-plus-acre project located between Nut Tree and Leisure Town roads in the southeast corner of the city.
Planning commissioners recommended that a nearly eight-acre parcel be rezoned from a controversial 192-unit apartment site with a high-density designation to a low-density residential area for 32 proposed homes. The second recommendation would change about 11 acres from agriculture to residential low-medium density.
Both were labeled “pre-zoning” moves because the property has not yet been annexed into the city. By law, said city staff member Christina Corsello, once a project is annexed, the site can’t be rezoned for two years. The change is done ahead of annexation “so we’re not stuck with it for two years,” she said.
The third rezoning matter was in the Southtown neighborhood and looked at changing the designation of about 33 acres from residential low-density to residential low-medium density with houses ranging from just more than 1,800 square feet to in excess of 3,000 square feet. The proposed development, which will offer elevations with large front porches and the option of a “California” room, met the approval of a couple of commissioners.
“This project reminds me of what will be a motivation to not just drive through Vacaville,” said Commissioner Dawn LaBar. “Because of its uniqueness . . . different elements . . . this to me is an incentive to not just drive through . . . but to live in Vacaville.”
Residents’ concerns ranged from the density of the proposed Southtown neighborhood of large homes with smaller outdoor space to environmental issued affecting area wildlife and wetlands areas.
Vacaville resident Roberto Valdez took the commissioners to task, calling the city poor land stewards. He wondered about the general environmental impact of the area’s new housing.
“I’m really disappointed that the city doesn’t get the point,” he said. “It’s not just the people, it’s the species.”
The Planning Commission’s actions will go before the City Council in March.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.