In an effort to create more affordable housing within the city, Oakdale City Council members recently approved a 56-unit multi-family residential project submitted by Visionary Home Builders of California, which will include improvements on Pedersen Road and East J Street as part of their proposal.
Councilman Richard Murdoch expressed concern over the possibility of property owners refusing to give up their right-of-way, saying the way the project is laid out, one dissenting property owner could tank the entire project.
The $24 million project is geared toward providing safe, clean and affordable housing for the “working poor” with the required income range being $20,000 to $50,000.
City Manager Bryan Whitemyer stated with confidence, “Staff is very satisfied with the project we’ve brought before you.”
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the median family annual income for a family of four in Stanislaus County is $57,530.
Representatives from both the Housing Authority and Visionary Builders expressed excitement in starting this project in Oakdale. The closest similar project by Visionary Builders is Almond Terrace in Ceres.
The property parcel, 3.29 acres on East J Street, is owned by the Housing Authority of Stanislaus County and will be a joint partnership between Visionary Home Builders and the Great Valley Development Corporation.
Originally, that particular stretch of land was designated in the City’s 2030 General Plan as low density residential and zoned for single family residential but council agreed to rezone the area by amending the General Plan to accommodate the project.
In addition to several different elevations for multi-family residences, the project is slated to include a community center, a tot-lot, and a daycare/Headstart center.
The proposed residential buildings will consist of two-story structures and will include two and three bedroom units. Pedersen Road and East J Street will provide the primary access to the property, which includes on-site parking.
There are 104 on-site parking spaces allotted for the project.
Public comment included concerns from residents in that area regarding noise control and fire hazards.
Essentially, residents voiced their concern that living next door to a low-income, multi-family residential complex could create quality-of-life issues in an area that has typically been known as a quiet street.
“Are the walls going to be soundproofed?” Kathleen Westenberg asked, voicing her concern. “Are there going to be firewalls between the units?”
City officials were quick to assure, “Reducing problems between neighbors should be crucial to the builders” but acknowledged that there were no special allowances planned aside from what is considered standard construction practices.
The community center will feature two offices – one of which will be used by the on-site property manager – a leasing office, waiting area, computer lab, mail room, multipurpose room and restrooms. The daycare/Headstart facility will feature an activity area, sleeping area, restrooms for children and staff, storage areas and a teacher prep area. The project allows for the hiring of three teachers, accommodating up to 25 children.
Pedestrian walkways will connect structures and various aesthetically-pleasing trees and foliage will be planted.
Once complete, Visionary Property Management Company will manage the property, stating that due to a Low Income Tax Credit status, there will be a 55-year obligation to manage and maintain the project.
Again, addressing concerns regarding low-income, high-density residential complexes, Visionary Builders assured the council that the on-site property managers would carefully screen all applicants to ensure the highest quality tenants are part of the community.
Plans for the groundbreaking ceremony are underway but a date has not yet been selected.