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Bay Area designs here?
Ceres city planners are hoping to use an "over/under" Bay Area concept for some unique developments in the Ceres West Annexation master plan.

"This will be the city's first mixed use of public facility, commercial, industrial, light industrial and residential," said Planning Director Barry Siebe. "It'll be mixed used in the vertical sense."

Visitors to the Livermore and Pleasanton areas may have noticed newer areas being developed with commercial and office space on the first floor and residential uses on overhead floors. An example of that is in use in the Tassajara Boulevard area of Livermore.

Siebe said Stanislaus County has not employed the concept yet but this will be a first for city planners in Ceres.

The concept provides for a "better use of your acreage and helps the anti sprawl concept."

Siebe said the concept creates walkability since some people would be able to live and work in the same area, possibly avoiding the use of cars.

"These new concepts - I shouldn't say new because Back East they've done it for years - are more tuned towards condensing those things, reducing the amount of time one has to travel, and thereby encouraging someone to get out and maybe walk or bicycle to work. You know, live right above where they work. The idea of being able to step out of your door and walk right to the local restaurant or shop or whatever else that you want in the community, leisure facilities."

Siebe said more and more California communities are using the concept in redevelopment areas. Pasadena recently revamped its downtown area and used the concept.

Mixed use vertical has been used in Philadelphia and Chicago, he pointed out.

"That's the kind of the thing we're trying to move towards," said Siebe. "Now, how successful we'll get how much of that we'll actually get into Ceres West, again you're talking paradigm shifts. Incrementalization. You attempt to do these things without having to people through massive culture shock as it were."

Siebe said the City Council is a progressive body that likes the idea of projects that are "unique and forward thinking."

The master planning process for Ceres West will probably take two years.