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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Madera County OKs 8,200 homes in the Rio Mesa area

Monday, Dec. 08, 2008, By Chris Collins / The Fresno Bee

excerpted from

Despite concerns about potential negative environmental effects, increased traffic congestion and inadequate school funding, the Madera County Board of Supervisors on Monday approved two large developments in southeast Madera County's Rio Mesa area.

Supervisors unanimously OK'd a 3,000-home development that will border the northwest portion of Millerton Lake and also voted 5-0 in favor of a 5,200-home urban center that would be mostly east of Highway 41 and south of Avenue 15.

The approval of the two developments marks a step toward completing a long-planned community in the area that eventually will be home to 100,000 people.

A number of other potential developments in the area are seeking approval.

The Millerton Lake project, which will cover more than 2,100 acres of land, was approved after receiving an endorsement from the Chawanakee Unified School District, which negotiated a last-minute deal with developers that will ensure that $60 million from the project will be committed to building future schools.

But the district was vehemently opposed to the second development, called the Tesoro Viejo project, which will cover 1,600 acres and eventually be home to 13,000 people.

School district consultant Marshall Krupp said the district will need $170 million to build future schools in that community, but will be $100 million short after state funds and developer fees.

The tab will be picked up by current and future residents of the entire school district, he said

"In essence, this developer is burdening this project on the backs of others," Krupp said...

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