The Antioch City Council has given the preliminary go-ahead to a 650-unit upscale housing development that will also provide $10 million in community and regional benefits.
The development, which will be located next to the golf course at Roddy Ranch, was made possible in 2005 when Antioch voters approved Measure K, moving the Urban Limit Line outside the golf course area west of Deer Valley and Empire Mine roads. On Dec. 16, the council approved the residential development allocations that allow the developer to go through the city's planning process to build the project.
Construction could begin in 2011 and is planned in three phases: 1) 265 custom houses northeast of the golf course, 2) 309 custom houses northwest of the golf course, 3) a 76-unit condominium villa and hotel east of the golf course.
City officials have welcomed the project as a way to attract corporate executives interested in living in an upscale community in Antioch in the hope they would relocate their businesses to East County as well.
Roddy Ranch PBC, LLC is pledging to spend $9.4 million for community and regional benefits in return for being allowed to develop the project. That includes $1 million to the Antioch Unified School District for arts, music and sports programs, despite the fact that the Roddy Ranch children will be attending Brentwood schools.
In addition, the developer will provide $1 million for improvements to the Highway 4 Bypass and/or Vasco Road and $50,000 to study the feasibility of locating a business park in Antioch.
Other project benefits include providing 175 acres of parks and open space, the widening of the east side of Deer Valley Road in the area of the project, and the provision of solar panels as an optional upgrade on the houses.
The discussion at the council meeting mostly focused on the developer's agreement to place the development in a police services district. Dan Boatwright, representing Castle Companies, said he doesn't want the future residents at Roddy Ranch to pay more than $300 per year for police services.
We would like certainty that it won't be $800 or $500, he said. We are not just going to accept any old fee that comes along. It has to be reasonable.
City officials responded that because there has yet to be a police services district set up in Antioch, it's too early to know how much the tax would be. Community Development Director Joe Brandt said that there might be a discount on that tax for residents in gated communities, as Roddy Ranch is planned to be.
Councilman Reggie Moore said that Roddy Ranch residents should help subsidize police protection in other areas of Antioch: I'm hoping that they would want to be a good community partner and ensure the level of service citywide that we are going for.