Ambitious development planned near Central High Stadium

FRESNO, Calif.

The Westlake project is bordered by Grantland to the east, Garfield to the west, Shields to south and Gettysburg to the north.

The project was first introduced in 2007 but the economic climate slowed its progress. Now developers are confident they'll have something to show by 2014.

The Westlake development by Granville Homes would take up 430 acres near Central High's Stadium.

Much of the land is agricultural in the area. Many residents out this way have their own wells. Some were worried a new development would impact traffic and their water supply.

One woman told the council, "Now Granville Homes wants to build this extravagant community and take away our water for their people's exclusive use."

The Fresno city council on Thursday approved a water assessment for the project.

Granville Homes vice-president Jeff Roberts wanted to ease the concerns of residents. Roberts said, "We actually have to construct wells that will supply the potable water for every resident and every business."

Granville's grand plan includes homes and apartments, an elementary school, commercial space and a man-made lake for recreational use.

Roberts explained, "The water that flows through the lake will actually go into a re-charge facility that will then charge the groundwater or the city of Fresno."

But area resident Sherry Smith said additional housing is the last thing needed in this rural area. Smith told the council, "There's no place for a woman out here to get her nails done, her hair cut, buy her groceries, get her car fixed or heaven forbid her children get sick. You'd have to be crazy to put this out there now."

The land still needs to be annexed by the city. The city council unanimously approved the water assessment. An environmental impact report is expect by April.

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