All of a sudden the city seems to be clamoring to revive old housing projects. Interest in rebuilding the apartment complex that sat half-finished, and eventually burned at Ivy and Hwy 33, looks to be more of a reality, while city staff is working quickly to try and salvage the plans for the Villages of Patterson, which at one time touted an additional 3,100 housing units for the city.
Council and staff have endured many hours of closed session meetings regarding the purchase of property within the Mahaffey triangle along West Las Palmas Ave, and talks of a new Public Safety Facility that would house both fire and police under one roof have come to light.
It’s an exciting time for growth in the city of Patterson once again, and the city should really be taking the time to address what these additions and changes to our city will mean for the quality of life in Patterson for the decades to follow.
The reworking of the Villages of Patterson plans could be the largest variable in defining the city’s future quality of life.
For example, the Villages of Patterson project was master-planned over the course of many years and raised the bar for what housing in Patterson was going to look like. Previous subdivisions, such as Walker Ranch and Heartland Ranch, were used as examples on which to improve upon.
The final project touted open space corridors, walking and bike paths, varied housing densities, as well as a live/work commercial area, and a soccer complex, all unique and attractive design aspects for the city of Patterson.
Unfortunately, in order to fast track home construction on the Villages site, city officials are claiming that many of those attractive design elements will have to go to the wayside in order to make the site more marketable, meaning that the Villages of Patterson may turn out to just be a supersized Heartland Ranch.
Initial meetings for approval in 2006-07 were long and arduous, and much debate ensued before the final Villages product was chiseled out. During those meetings, lines of people formed behind the dais and out the door of the council chambers, each person asking for approval due to the variety of housing densities the project provided for.
To just throw those attractive elements of the Villages of Patterson out the window in order to appease the knee jerk need for more shovel-ready housing would do a disservice to all of those who fought long and hard to see a housing development that was supposed to be an improvement upon the existing subdivisions within the city.
It’s promising that our small city is at the forefront of a light industrial economic boom, but planners, officials, and the community at large must tread with the quality of life for future residents in mind.
The residents 30, 60 and 100 years from now will thank us for it.