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Bulldozers have begun grading the initial phase of the nearly 1,100-unit Santana Ranch residential development on Fairview Road between Sunnyslope and Hillcrest roads. The project has been in the planning stages for decades and was cleared by the county back in 2010.

“Grading has begun on the initial phase of the project,” said Gina Waldron, a spokeswoman for Stonecreek Properties, which is in charge of the project. “Construction on the street improvements are anticipated to be completed in early spring 2015. House construction is planned to begin in 2015.”

Details of the project beyond that are limited, as Waldron said “the project is in the very early stages of development.” The project’s initial plans set aside up to 12 acres for an elementary school site, 18 acres of parks and 10 percent of the 1,092 homes to be dedicated to low-income housing. The agreement approved in 2010 required the developer to build half of the low-income housing allotment by the time the first 500 units were built.

San Benito County Assistant Planning Director Byron Turner said there has been some “shifting of the configuration” of the initial plans and that there are multiple phases to the development agreement. He said the project is in the public works phase, with grading and other infrastructure improvements needed before any houses are built. “We’ll get back involved once we see the house plans,” he said, referring to the planning department.

“We’ve been very careful when reviewing the maps to make sure ample space is provided for parks and we’re making sure space is still available to the school district,” Turner said.

The project generally runs from a swath of walnut trees along Fairview to the north back to near the county fire station and Lessalt water treatment plant to the south, Turner said. Anderson Homes, which built the neighborhoods directly across Fairview from Santana Ranch, is the developer of this project, though Turner noted there are “provisions to make lots available to local builders as well.”

Counting Santana Ranch, more than 2,000 houses are planned along Fairview Road from Sunnyslope south to Airline Highway. Former County Supervisor Richard Scagliotti recently proposed building more than 200 5,000- to 7,000-square-foot homes near the current Cielo Vista development and the proposed 700-unit West of Fairview project near St. Benedict’s Church. The 220-unit Fairview Corners project is planned to be built adjacent to the proposed Gavilan College San Benito campus, directly north of Airline Highway and east of Fairview Road, across the street from the main entrance to Ridgemark Golf and Country Club.

For more information about Santana Ranch, visit the Stonecreek Properties website here.