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Galt council aims to expand borders; approves 223 townhome development

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Posted: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 10:00 pm

Galt's new slow-growth City Council has paved the way to annex 50 acres of land and build a new residential development.

Galt took steps to annex the land for a 40-acre park and a 10-acre elementary school on the westside after the council approved the action in a 4-0 vote at a council meeting Tuesday. In a separate action, the council voted 4-0 to approve a 223-unit townhome development in the northwest part of town.

Councilman Darryl Clare did not attend the meeting.

The proposed Walker Park would include lighted soccer and baseball fields, a picnic facility, restrooms, community center, tennis courts and a bike trail. The park would cost $22 million, according to city estimates three years ago.

Vice Mayor Andrew Meredith said he liked the idea of a large recreation area on the older side of town.

"I think this is a great project for the west side," he said. "It's been a long time since we have had something like this on the west side."

Ron Dameron, who lives on Sargent Avenue across the street from the proposed park at the corner of Elm Avenue, said he walks with his wife every day along the dangerous street with no shoulder. He said he welcomes a park in his neighborhood.

"If this goes forward, we can take our walk in the park," he said. "It's a good project and we support it."

The land for the park and adjacent Quail Hollow Elementary School will be annexed pending final approval from Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission. Construction of the park is scheduled to begin in the winter of 2007.

The council also approved the proposed Parlin Oaks Townhome project at Walnut Avenue and Carillion Boulevard. The 15-acre gated community of two and three-bedroom units would include a common pool and community club, according to Galt Senior Planner Sandra Kiriu.

"They would be reminiscent of San Francisco townhomes," Kiriu said.

Council woman Barbara Payne was concerned about policing the area, and Police Chief Loren Cattolico wanted to know about lighting and access to the gated neighborhood.

Project Manager Shannan Loveless of JDA, the architectural firm designing the project, said the area would be well lit and emergency services would be able to get past the gates.

"I feel confident it will be an area you will be able to police easily," she said.

The area was originally planned for up to 18 multiple family apartment units per acre instead of the 14 townhomes per acre the council approved. Mayor Tim Raboy said he liked the more spacious project.

"We have 223 townhomes where we could have had 300 apartments," he said. "This is a much more preferable project for me."

With Raboy and the election of fellow slow-growth proponents Meredith and Councilman Donald Haines in November, the council is expected to take a more tempered stance on development.

Contact reporter Matt Brown at mattb@lodinews.com.

First published: Wednesday, January 3, 2007

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