Additional development approved in Millerton New Town area

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Millerton "New Town" area has been on Fresno County's planning list for more than 20 years.

One of the biggest projects so far is the Bella Vista subdivision. John Bonadelle is the developer, "We built our first phase of 160 homes about 4 years ago it was a very successful project we are now proceeding on our second phase."

The conditions required by the county to build that second phase of about 100 homes were presented to the Board of Supervisors by Will Kettler of the Fresno County Planning Department.

"This item is the implementation of a tract map that was approved in 2000. This is acceptance of that final map. Developing this area does have a lot of challenges and complexities given the environment up there."

The primary challenge is water. Operational problems have occurred in pumping the water out of Millerton Lake for the entire "New Town" area.

The county will impose fees of nearly $18,000 for water and sewer connections for each home. Several thousand dollars more than similar hookups in Clovis.

The county is also imposing a fee of about $7,000 per house for traffic improvements to Friant and Millerton roads, which Bonnadelle believes will be widened.

"It will get widened eventually. It will have to be a partnership with Table Mountain and all of the other entities that are up there."

Applications are in for state and Federal highway grants.

The higher water, sewer and road costs are paid by the developer, and housing prices in the development appear competitive.

Bonnadelle and other developers foresee 2,000 homes in the area and Bonnadelle expects the boundaries of Fresno and Clovis to move toward the "New Town" area.

"Its always been my belief that the best direction for the city to grow is toward the foothills, so you don't infringe on prime ag ground."
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