By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Council okays 18-home Hatch Road subdivision
• Second phase of Olive Wood professional complex never developed so new homes it is
This map, superimposed over an aerial photo of the Olive Woods business park, shows where the 18 homes are being proposed.

The Ceres City Council unanimously voted 3-0 to approve the building of 18 single-family homes north of Hatch Road between Moffet Road and Wallin Way.

In June the Ceres Planning Commission voted 3-1 to recommend the council approve a plan the vesting tentative subdivision map, and Planned Community Development Plan (PCDP) to subdivide 1.67 acres on Hatch Road for 18 homes ranging in size from 1,390 to 1,630 square feet. The lone vote in June was cast by Commissioner Laurie Smith who felt the single-story homes looked too simple and wondered why they weren’t designed to look more visually interesting.

The homes should sell for between $275,000 and $325,000.

The Olive Villas project is proposed by developer Gary Rogers of Madera.

In 2001 the general plan was amended to allow for the continuation of the business park or a senior housing facility. Originally the Olive Wood/Hatch Road Professional park site was intended to be built as a 20,452-square-foot professional office complex consisting of seven buildings on seven lots with parking and access easements. Although seven lots were created, only three of the seven buildings have been constructed. 

The second phase of Olive Wood called for the removal of an older house on the site – now vacant and recently burned in afire – for the construction of a 17,852-square-foot expansion of the office complex, consisting of six additional buildings or developing a senior housing project, consisting of 13 detached dwellings. The second phase never came to pass and the site is undeveloped.

Senior Planner James Michaels said the city has received little inquiry about developing the second phase over the past 15 years.

When the city was approved about changing the plan to develop 30 townhome dwelling units within six buildings, city staff foresaw significant problems with not enough space for amenities, guest parking and emergency vehicle access. The developer reworked the project for 18 single-family homes – a project the city could support at the staff level.

Proposed are 10 single-story single-family, three-bedroom, two-bath homes; and eight three-bedroom townhomes which are two-story and sized at 1,630 square feet. The development would be subject to a Homeowners’ Association (HOA) and CC & R’s (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions).

Upon the demolition of the burned out home, the developer will be removing the two existing driveways along Hatch Road and replacing it with a deceleration lane along Hatch Road leading to a private roadway to serve the subdivision. A 12-foot wide stamped concrete median island at the Hatch Road entrance will restrict turning movements to right in, right out, and left in only from the subdivision. The project will also be accessible through the existing Olive Woods office complex parking lot. A total of 66 parking spaces will serve the project. Restrictions will dictate that garages must be used for vehicle parking.

As a buffer zone between Hatch Road and the homes closest to Hatch Road will be a park strip with a children’s play area and barbecue area and guest parking area just west of the new entrance and landscaping and a dog park on the east side.

All of the units will have a 10-foot deep backyard.

“These things are going to look really nice,” said Rogers. “They’re going to fit in with the neighborhood.”

Last month Benjamin Penfield of JMP Homes said projects he’s built have requirements that homeowners maintain their homes.

“We will make a strict HOA policy that they have to keep it up to a certain thing, they can’t let it run down,” said Penfield. “I do a lot of these projects up and down the Valley. I’ve probably done 20 or 30 of these and so every project that we’ve done … 10 years, 20 years down the road it still looks the same as it was day one and I set it up that way on purpose.”

Michaels said that the project will have a “gated feel” with decorative columns at the entrance but will not have a gate for access. 

Helen Maze wanted to know if the housing project would adversely impact the neighboring commercial project. She was told the homes will have direct access as well as be able to access through the Olive Woods parking area. City Manager Tom Westbrook said there will be no left turns onto Hatch Road from the new access but left turns are permitted from the Olive Woods complex.

Councilman Channce Condit said he liked the looks of the homes and that he was excited to see it come to Ceres.