In the last few years, there has been increasing concern
expressed by residents in Modesto’s established
neighborhoods regarding new homes and home additions within
these neighborhoods. The concerns have focused on the
scale, massing, and architectural compatibility of the new
home or addition with the existing homes in the area.
These concerns culminated in 2007 with a request by two
neighborhood groups that the City pursue regulations or
guidelines to address these concerns. As a result of this
request, the City Council directed staff to prepare
guidelines or regulations to address three areas of
concern: neighborhood compatibility guidelines to ensure
that new homes and additions in established neighborhoods
are compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods,
multi-family design guidelines to ensure that new
multi-family projects in the community have both a high
quality of design and are compatible with their
surroundings, and a heritage tree ordinance to protect
unique or special trees in the community.
A public workshop with the Planning Commission and Board
of Zoning Adjustment was held on October 23.
A second workshop will be held in early 2009. Drafts of
all three efforts are available on the City’s website at
For further information, contact the Planning Division at
A new retail center is being proposed at the southwest
corner of Oakdale Road and Sylvan Avenue. The center will
sit on 18 acres at the northern end of the Naraghi Lakes
development. The proposed center will include 172,600 square
feet of retail space. Although most tenants have not yet
been identified, one of the major tenants that will be
locating in the center is a 58,000-square-foot health club.
The project proponents have applied for a General Plan
amendment and rezoning to allow for the retail center. The
application is currently under review and environmental and
traffic studies for the project are underway. It is
anticipated that the project will be going to the Planning
Commission and City Council for public hearings in the first
quarter of 2009.
The Affordable Housing Implementation Tools document
provides a series of policies and programs that will help
facilitate the development of affordable housing. A workshop
was held with the City Council on September 30, 2008, at
which time the Council took action to approve the affordable
housing toolbox. The final version of the approved document
will be posted on our website in November.
The Kiernan Business Park East project site is located on
the east side of Dale Road between Kiernan Avenue and
Pelandale Avenue. The Kiernan Business Park Specific Plan is
proposed to be amended to include approximately 39 acres of
Commercial and Medium High Density Residential development
on the east side of Dale Road, with 114 acres remaining for
Business Park development. All technical analyses have been
concluded for the project, and the Draft Environmental
Impact Report (DEIR) is now under production. The draft
Specific Plan and DEIR are expected to be released for
45-day public review in November 2008, followed by final
City Council approval by mid-2009.
regular meeting on September 9, 2008, the City Council
directed staff to recommence work to move this 153-acre,
498-lot County "island" area toward annexation. City sewer
service has been available to properties within the area for
some time, although not all property owners have yet
connected to the system. Issues remain to be resolved
between the City and County before annexation will be
completed, but staff anticipates that annexation might occur
as early as 2009, after which time the full array of City
services will be available to the area.
On October 14, 2008, the City Council
certified the General Plan Master EIR and approved a
technical update to the General Plan. The technical update
has served to make the General Plan and MEIR more current
with respect to City policies and new legislation. The
update did not provide for a comprehensive update, or result
in a "new" General Plan. Changes to the documents are
generally associated with new and revised policies, and the
General Plan land use exhibit remains unchanged.
Approval by the City Council results in streamlined
application of local and state policies, and a "freshened"
Master EIR that will allow subsequent entitlements to take
advantage of the tiering provisions of CEQA. These
provisions significantly reduce the cost of, and time
involved in, preparing environmental documents on a
project-by-project basis, which project applicants and City
staff have used to their advantage. Additionally, the Master
EIR includes a new section on climate change, which will
further assist project applicants who are seeking
Business Development – What’s Going On?
Staff is working with several companies to facilitate site
location searches. Recent developments:
• Modesto has been placed on the “Short List” for a national
Technical Support Center with 500 full-time jobs and 200
part-time jobs. This well-known company has narrowed their
search to four sites in the nation, with Modesto being one
of those sites. Staff has been working with this company for
more than 4 months and we expect a site decision will be
made by mid-August.
• Modest is under consideration for a large health care
facility within the City limits.
As soon as final property negotiations are complete, the
companies will authorize the publication of their names and
we will keep the Council informed.
Kansas-Woodland Business Park (FMC)
The Purchase and Sale Agreement, along with several
companion agreements, are being reviewed by both staff and
FMC Corporation for final document approval. These are
expected to be before the Redevelopment Agency in November.
The City continues to work with Public Resource Management Group to complete a five-year comprehensive cost analysis to ensure that our developer user fees are set appropriately. The comprehensive study of developer user fees includes:
• Planning Fees
• Engineering Fees
• Landscape Review Fees
• Building Permit Fees
• Fire Prevention Fees
This comprehensive study is not only including a review of the existing fees, but we have been reviewing areas identified by staff as well as the consultant, where we have not been recovering costs at all. The purpose of the study is to ensure that the fees being charged are covering the costs incurred for delivering various services. It is our hope to have the study complete by the end of this calendar year.
If you have worked with City staff in any of the following
areas, we want to hear from you:
Sewer Cost Share
Utility or Property Line Location
Encroachment, grading or transportation Permits
Water or Sewer Fees
Commercial or Subdivision Plan Check
Parcel Map Processing
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