New housing developments are spurring new chapter in Madera County's growth

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Rio Mesa Area Plan, which includes new housing developments and commercial businesses along the 41 from Avenue 9 and north to Avenue 15, are expected provide a big population boost to Madera County.

"Over time they are anticipating there will be 100,000 people," said Bobby Kahn, Madera County Economic Commission Development Executive Director. "That's going to take time to build out to that level, but you're seeing River Stone sell houses at 35 to 40 houses a month and you're starting to see Tesoro Viejo come online and I anticipate they will sell at the same rate. So you're going to see rapid growth out here."

Kahn said new residents will cause an economic impact with property tax and sales tax.

Another development is planned for the future in Madera County. Gunnar Ranch near Valley Children's will be mostly commercial and some residential. Water is being assessed. Tesoro Viejo and Riverstone have a water supply.

Local businesses like Watersports Marine believe the growth is good.

"Absolutely love all the development. There's tons of new stuff going on out here, which brings a lot more people and everybody wants to do a lot more recreational activities. I think it's going to do nothing but help us grow and the community grows," said Jared Lacefield, Watersports Marine owner.

With two lakes nearby, owner Jared Lacefield is hoping more people want to recreate nearby. Drivers will notice a stop light now at Avenue 15 and Highway 41.

"They are looking to have two lanes going in both directions northbound and southbound, but this is years down the road. They are planning to have on ramps and off ramps. This will probably be about a three-phase project," said Elizabeth Yelton, Caltrans District 6 Information Officer.

The expressway could help keep traffic flowing.

As Madera County's population grows north along the 41, more land on the outskirts is going up for sale.

One piece of property along the 145 and 41 just sold. It is zoned for farmland, but the owner believes it's an investment that could pay off.
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