The Riverbank Planning Commission gathered for a special meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 13, to hear of plans to annex nearly 400 acres immediately west of Oakdale Road, currently listed in the city’s sphere of influence.
The commission was to hear requests for approval of General Plan Amendments, Specific Plan, pre-zoning, certification of the EIR (Environmental Impact Report), and submission of an annexation application to LAFCO for the entire Project Site, Development Agreement, Tentative Parcel Map, and Preliminary Development Plan. The Tentative Map and Preliminary Development Plan have been submitted by developers and will be considered by the City of Riverbank as part of the approval action.
Following a public hearing on the project, the commission was to vote on whether to send the project on for approval by the Riverbank City Council.
In its details, the proposed project is to include development of up to 1,872 Low Density Residential units, up to 192 Medium Density Residential units, and up to 388 High Density Residential units.
The project also includes up to 550,000 square feet of Mixed Use 1 uses, and up to 27,000 sf of Mixed Use 2 uses.
It noted that development in the MU-1 project could include up to 550,000 square feet of retail uses and no residential uses, or up to 350 units of residential uses and just 360,000 sf of retail uses.
Crossroads West is designed to provide flexibility, so there are various other hypothetical combinations of retail and residential development, but not more than the maximum density presented would be allowed without an amendment approved by the City.
Additionally, the proposed project would increase the size of the existing 11-acre Regional Park, the Riverbank Sports Complex, to about 22 acres.
A 10- to 12-acre elementary school and 20-acre middle school are also possible within the Plan Area as well as a location for a one- to two-acre west Riverbank fire station.
Also, the proposed Crossroads West would provide approximately 42 acres of park, open space, and Regional Sports Park uses.
The meeting attracted a large number of residents and neighbors to city hall, forcing expansion of seating into the Recreation Department offices, where a television monitor allowed those present to see what was being shown to the rest of the audience.
Before the hearing, John Anderson, the city’s contract Planner, used a PowerPoint presentation to show what was planned on the sites.
During the public hearing, a major concern was voiced by residents adjacent to the project, most living and working on Crawford Road.
Anderson explained, and showed on the project maps, where Crawford Road would be rerouted to disconnect from through traffic that might travel west from the subdivisions. A barrier would be erected to prevent all vehicles except emergency equipment from getting onto the county road, while pedestrians and bicyclists would still be able to use the roadway.
Other notes include the news that the projected shopping area would equal the size of the current Crossroads, including Home Depot, doubling the space available.
It was projected that, at buildout, about 20 years from now, the project should add about 6,000 residents to the city’s population, adding roughly one quarter the present number.
The project will occupy the property owned by nine entities. It could displace several farms, including a dairy, as well as the Dutch Hollow facility located on the northwest corner of Claribel and Oakdale roads.
And the shopping center developer said new stores are planned to be part of the first construction undertaken.
At the end of the two hour meeting, the planning commission voted to approve passing the project on to the city council for its consideration.