Photo courtesy of Metro Creative

The Oakley City Council has approved the design review portion of the Shiloh high-density residential project which calls for 69 new homes to be built by KB Homes near Gehringer Elementary School at the corner of Main Street and Simoni Ranch Road.

The approval of the project’s design review proposal is rooted in the 2007 passage of the location as multi-family residential zoning, which allows for higher density construction with the aim of providing more affordable housing in the city. Standard lots in the project are somewhat smaller, with lower setbacks and limited on-street parking.

Home sizes will range from 1,478 to 2,196 square feet, and all plans include a front-facing two-car garage. Out of the 69 homes, 35 will be single-story homes and 34 two-story homes. The project’s entryway will be from Main Street. The project designs include a mix of Italianate, Spanish and craftsman-style materials and construction with four different floor plans. Councilmember Kevin Romick praised the design and said he preferred it over apartment multi-family construction.

The proposal was approved by a 3-0 vote, with council members Doug Hardcastle and Randy Pope not present. Mayor Claire Alaura raised the possibility with a representative of KB Homes of naming some of the project’s street names for the city’s first elected councilmembers, an idea proposed by the panel organizing the recent 20th anniversary celebration of the city’s incorporation.

In other actions at the meeting:

The council approved the city’s lighting landscape assessment structure for the coming year. No increase in the current rates were proposed, except for three smaller residential zones, which will see a 10% increase.

Michael Krieg delivered a report on the county Mosquito and Vector Control District. Krieg told the council the district’s experts expect an average year for mosquito infestations, particularly from the West Nile virus. Krieg also noted the increasing threat from Yellow fever with some cases now reaching as far north as Merced. Krieg touted the district’s new outreach program for area schools now getting underway and the agency’s stable budget status.

Police chief Eric Christensen delivered a report on the department’s budget request for replacing computers in patrol vehicles with new tablets. The current equipment will no longer be supported by the vendor, forcing the $30,000 purchase of the eight new mobile units. The chief also presented a request for approval of the purchase of three new patrol vehicles for $123,000, which will include two SUVs for supervisors and one patrol vehicle. Both budget expenditures were approved 3-0 by the council.

The chief also delivered a department study of red light camera systems currently available. Christensen noted that mounting such a system locally would be high, as much as $250,000 per intersection per year, not even counting the required personnel costs to manage and staff one. The chief also said the city’s current number of red light collisions is low, bringing in the question of the system’s potential value.