In accordance with the city's 2030 general plan, San Ramon is moving forward with plans to develop a large patch of rural acreage on the northwest side of town. One of the largest land deals in the East Bay recently, Lafferty Communities bought the 440-acre Faria Preserve for an undisclosed amount.
The Preserve was annexed in 2009 by the city as part of the Northwest Specific Plan and is located east of Bollinger Canyon Road, north of Crow Canyon Road. It sits next to two smaller properties and will be connected by a public trails and open space system that will link to new community and public facilities.
"The Faria Preserve was a complex transaction that had fallen through a number of times before with different parties who were unable to close," said Land Broker Cameron Fowler, of the Hoffman Company. "This is a market rate master plan community offering future or current residents of San Ramon a viable housing option with great access to jobs."
Part of San Ramon's smart growth initiative, Lafferty advertises that the Preserve's 786 residential units are close to large employers such as Chevron and AT&T, decreasing commuter congestion. Fowler expects construction to begin in 2014 with the first model homes -- single family attached and detached homes as well as multifamily apartments -- opening by 2015.
Although the preserve itself is 291 acres, Lafferty bought an additional 149 acres to preserve natural resources, accommodate open space and provide for "active parks." Residential development will only cover 20 to 25 percent of the property, Fowler noted.
Proposed parks include soccer and softball fields, basketball courts, picnic and play areas as well as parking facilities, according to city documents. The Preserve and its adjacent properties are also slated to house a rose garden, a house of worship and an educational site.
Fowler said he does not expect construction or traffic to impact businesses or residents in the immediate area, but said there would be a significant infrastructure cost and capital commitment in excess of $100 million by build-out.
"If anything this will be a positive for the commercial sector. It will bring in new residents and overall alleviate traffic because they wont have to commute from other locations," he said.
Fowler said Lafferty will work with the city to mitigate traffic concerns, which came center-stage at a recent Planning Commission meeting to discuss the neighboring North Camino Ramon Specific Plan. Still, it is too early in the development process to discuss specific traffic mitigation measures.
San Ramon officials did not return call for comment and there is no specific date set for complete build-out.