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West Landing annexation approved
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The city may now proceed with annexing 960 acres to the western edge of Ceres since the Stanislaus Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) decided Wednesday to approve it.

The approval came after a last-minute deal between the city to make the Westport Fire Protection District whole. The small rural fire agency said it needed the tax-sharing deal to keep its meager $122,650 annual budget intact.

The annexation, proposed by developer/ property owners G3 Enterprises, Rutland Properties and B.S. Boyle Jr. Limited Partnership, will detach 960 acres from the county and add to the Ceres city limits for development. The action removes the property from the Westport district. Typically the new jurisdiction takes the tax revenue but LAFCO wanted Ceres to share some of it to keep Westport operational.

The annexation approval comes on the heels of county plans for a more stringent policy regarding agricultural preservation relating to annexations. The matter will be taken up on May 23.

The annexation area will likely develop when the economy recovers and could take an estimated 20 years or longer to complete. It's estimated that West Landing could result in the addition of 12,000 new residents in Ceres as well as beef up commercial, office and industrial space as far west to Ustick Road.

The master plan calls for :

• A housing mix of 293 acres, or 1,310 multi-family units and 2,325 single-family houses;

• 34 acres of regional commercial acres;

• 884,200 square feet of retail commercial;

• 383,910 square feet of office uses;

• 802,100 square feet of light industrial;

• 174 acres of county facilities that already exist at the corner of Crows Landing and Service roads.

• 47 acres of parkland;

• 16 acres for schools.

The annexation area is bounded by Whitmore Avenue to the north, Service Road to the south, the Union Pacific Railroad tracks to the east and Ustick Road on the west. The plan includes the annexation of the G3 plant - once the Proctor & Gamble plant - as well as the Stanislaus County government complex.