Business park expansion moves forward
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Aug 22, 2012 | 1228 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At a glance

What: Patterson City Council meeting

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21

Where: City Hall, 1 Plaza

Who: Mayor Luis Molina, Vice Mayor Deborah Novelli, Councilwoman Annette Smith, Councilman Dominic Farinha and Councilman Larry Buehner were all present.

Expansion of the West Patterson Business Park cleared another hurdle Tuesday, Aug. 21, when the City Council voted 5-0 in favor of a developer agreement for the second and final time, and approved subdivision maps of the KDN Retail Center and the Arambel Business Park.

The 948-acre development would provide space for light industrial businesses, similar to the CVS and Kohl’s distribution centers already in West Patterson Business Park. The 104-acre KDN center would include retail uses.

Together, they would expand West Patterson Business Park and the city’s physical boundaries in four phases during 20 years or more. Most of that land is now farmland.

The council’s decision came despite protests from Patterson Irrigation District General Manager Peter Rietkerk, who stated the project would deplete local groundwater aquifers that the city shares with PID.

“PID has some serious concerns about the environmental review and water supply assessment for the project,” Rietkerk declared in a prepared statement to the council.

Rietkerk said the city’s 2010 General Plan called for a cap on local usage of 7,500 acre-feet of water, and the two projects take the city to that limit in usage of local available groundwater.

The project failed to accurately quantify groundwater availability for both public and private uses in the area, he said.

“PID respectfully requests that the council scrutinize all documents with regard to long-term master plan documents and availability of capacity,” Rietkerk said.

Joe Hollowell, manager of the Arambel project, said extensive studies had been prepared by the city, and all water documents prepared by the city from 2000 to present had been considered.

He noted that the city is only using 4,000 acre-feet of water today. If the expansion were fully developed immediately, it would only take the usage to 5,400 acre-feet, he said.

Deputy City Attorney Doug White agreed, but pointed out that another 3,100 acre-feet of groundwater is tied up in projects that are not being developed, including the defunct Villages of Patterson mixed-use development that had been planned for the east side of town.

The council recently directed city staff and the city attorney to work with Villages of Patterson developers to return the water allotments, which are legally allocated because of development agreements.

Vice Mayor Deborah Novelli said it was important for the city to keep a good relationship with PID, but stressed that the Villages of Patterson had 1,800 acre-feet of groundwater tied up in the development agreement alone.

Board and commission vacancies filled

The council filled several vacancies Tuesday night on the planning commission, parks and recreation commission, economic strategic commission and the senior advisory board.

The council was unanimous in all of its appointments, except for the planning commission. The council voted 4-1 with Mayor Luis Molina dissenting, to re-appoint commissioner Ron West and appoint Eric Bendix and Brian Bingham. Molina said he agreed with the Bendix appointment, but wanted to see Commissioner Birdie Rodriguez reappointed to the commission instead of Bingham. Councilwoman Annette Smith said Rodriguez missed several commission meetings.

Eric Ayala and Fitzroy Salmon were appointed to the Parks and Recreation Commission, and Rebecca Robinson was reappointed.

Denise Sperle and Ken Buehner were reappointed to the Economic Strategic Commission.

Joyce Buehner and Mark Johnson were appointed to the Senior Advisory Board.

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