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Commission adds life to major projects
• Whitmore Ranch, SamBella Plaza given two more years
Whitmore Ranch aerial
Whitmore Ranch subdivision south of Whitmore Avenue.

The Ceres Planning Commission extended the life of two significant development proposals previously approved while proponents continue to prepare for building them.

Commissioners have a two-year time extension for the first phase of Whitmore Ranch subdivision until May 2025. Developers are still working on engineering work to subdivide 19.3 acres into 107 residential lots south of Whitmore Avenue west of Cesar Chavez Junior High School.

The city annexed the 94-acre Whitmore Ranch master plan area in 2019. Its first subdivision was approved in May 2021 to subdivide 19.3 acres into 107 residential lots at 3340 E. Whitmore Avenue. It was set to expire next month but the commission extended it.

The extension was approved 4-0 as Commissioner Ruldip “R.J.” Jammu was absent.

A second subdivision map for Whitmore Ranch was approved in March 2022 to subdivide 8.4 acres into 46 residential lots just east of Moore Road and 650 feet south of Whitmore Avenue. It remains valid until March 2024.

The commission also kept alive the vesting tentative parcel map for SamBella Plaza, a future commercial development of 11.9 acres split up into six commercial zoned parcels and a storm drainage basin parcel.

The site is located between Mitchell Road and the TID Ceres Main Canal, north and south of Rohde Road, and is approximately 400 feet south of the Mitchell Road/Service Road intersection.

The project was approved in 2021 but running out of its two-year life until the commission granted it two more years.

“I guess the economy has made it necessary for this to have additional time before it becomes reality,” commented Kachel.

In April 2015 Khacho began speaking to city officials about constructing a commercial center consisting of six buildings (involving a combination of retail, restaurant, and hotel uses) on six separate parcels. Khacho sat on his plans until 2021 but has yet been able to proceed.

While Khacho’s center would generate more traffic, those impacts were studied under the previously approved Ceres Gateway Center and the Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center projects. City staff also noted that the recent improvements to Rohde Road and the Mitchell Road/Rohde Road intersection are sufficient to accommodate the future project traffic.

SamBella project
SamBella commercial project.