default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Betting on a building boom

Galt hopes reduced permit fees will bring homes to subdivisions

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 12:00 am

Galt is planning for a house building boom. An estimated 1,680 lots are on the development books, some of which are part of subdivisions abandoned when the economy took a downturn. And developers are beginning to take notice.

The city's Planning Department is hopeful that a building permit fee reduction program will draw in new developers to complete a number of city neighborhoods with vacant parcels.

Last May, the Galt City Council voted to temporarily reduce certain developer fees by 50 percent, not only to encourage building new homes, but also to create local jobs and stimulate other construction. The incentive program will remain in place through November.

The city's building division has published a map on its website and prepared fliers to distribute to potential developers. Cost savings average about $10,000 per parcel.

Senior planner Chris Erias said the city has been fielding many calls regarding residential development.

"The calls range from inquiries regarding the fee reduction program to development opportunities that would not benefit from the reduction program," he said. "We haven't quite put numbers to the inquiries, but they have been substantial."

City Manager Jason Behrmann agreed that the fee reduction program seems to be motivating builders to start building homes again.

Before the state's economic downturn, Galt averaged about 200 building permits annually for single-family homes.

In 2007, there were 46, and the number dropped to 30 in 2008. The following year, there was one.

Since the incentive program went into effect, eight housing permits have been issued.

There are currently 184 lots sitting vacant in seven partially completed neighborhoods throughout the city, ready to be built upon. This means that the streets and other infrastructure is already in place, awaiting subdivision house plans.

Among these is the Meadows Subdivision on East Stockton Boulevard, just north of Walnut Avenue.

Approval of new architectural plans for the remaining 27 lots in that partially developed subdivision will be requested at this month's Planning Commission. Beck Community Builders of Stockton has already applied for building permits for four lots in the subdivision.

Floor plans are for homes at 1,464 square feet, 1,672 square feet, 2,190 square feet, and 2,520 square feet. The developer's plan is to pull building permits immediately after receiving Planning Commission approval.

Beck is currently building in Oakdale.

Meanwhile, a new home builder is in the process of purchasing the remaining 26 lots in the Chancellor Estates Unit 6 subdivision.

The developer told the city he was attracted by the temporary fee reduction program and has received fee estimates from the city's planning department, according to Behrmann.

There are five other subdivisions, including three unfinished ones along the San Joaquin-Sacramento county border.

This housing activity is important for a variety of reasons, according to Behrmann.

"It creates jobs and generates economic activity in the community, it finishes half-built subdivisions, eliminating blighted vacant parcels, and (it) sends an important message to the community that we are finally starting to pull out of this prolonged recession that was triggered in large part by the collapse in the housing market," he said.

Although the property still needs to be annexed into city limits, planning staff has been meeting with a prospective developer for yet another area, the 358 acres generally bounded by Twin Cities Road on the north, the Ione Spur railroad line on the south, and between Marengo and Cherokee roads. It is the former YCH property surrounding Liberty Ranch High School and has been purchased by Galt Communities LLC, according to Behrmann.

The developer wants to build a community of 1,200 to 1,500 homes. Once plans are received, they will be presented to both the Planning Commission and city council for review and comment before the developer makes a formal application to proceed.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories



Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists