Yuba City officials are considering what to do with the vacant land along Harter Parkway between Butte House Road and Highway 20, including the possibility of two new subdivisions that could add approximately 150 residential lots (both single-family and multi-family).

There are several different proposals on the table in terms of possible development and making the area more enticing for new development. It’s been years since the city adopted a plan for the area – the Harter Specific Plan (HSP) was approved in October 2004 – and a lot has changed since then, both to the landscape and with turnover of city officials and staff. 

Before officials make any decisions regarding the area, they’ve planned an informational session for today to update the new crop of leaders on both the City Council and Planning Commission on the development and potential improvements moving forward.

“We are expecting some items to come forward regarding this development in the not too distant future,” said Diana Langley, director of Public Works for Yuba City. “This joint workshop will allow us to provide information related to the Harter Specific Plan that will help facilitate those future discussions.” 

Today’s joint workshop starts at 5 p.m. and will be at City Hall inside Council Chambers – 1201 Civic Center Blvd., Yuba City. 


Proposed changes

The site consists of approximately 200 acres. In October 2000, the city approved the Home Depot project. Since then, a Walmart and a host of other retail stores and restaurants have been built on the site, as well as the Sierra Central Credit Union headquarters. 

One of the developers, Harter Packing Company, LLC, that helped establish the Walmart and other businesses on site has submitted two separate tentative subdivision maps – Harter Estates North and Harter Estates South – for consideration. The south subdivision plans call for 77 residential lots and one commercial lot, while plans for the north subdivision would see 73 single-family lots and three multi-family lots.

Along with the proposals for Harter Estates, the company is asking the city to extend its development agreement another 20 years, establish a reimbursement agreement for the work they carried out to develop the area in its early years – roadways, sewer and water --  and consider modifying some of its development impact fees to help entice future building.

“Yuba City continues to have one of the highest impact fees in the regional area. High impact fees along with the current required infrastructure requirements and given the market pricing for new homes does not leave the builder nor the land owners a profit margin worth the risk,” said Tom Tucker, of Harter Packing Company, LLC., in a letter sent to the city on Nov. 13 regarding developmental obstacles for the area. “…Buildout of (Harter Specific Plan) is critical to the city’s goals of orderly and systematic development and avoiding leapfrogging or other unsustainable growth patterns. A failure to ensure the competitiveness of building in the HSP will effectively abandon a critical corridor connecting multiple areas of western Yuba City.”

In adopting their goals and priorities for the year ahead, Yuba City officials stated their intent to be more “business-friendly,” and part of that included reevaluating its policies and processes to find ways to make the city more enticing for new development.

Langley said development within the Harter Parkway area is important to the city because it will result in higher property taxes and sales taxes.


Still to come

As the proposals being considered are multi-faceted, it will require future actions by both the City Council and Planning Commission, separately. Langley said those discussions will start to happen in December following today’s informational workshop. 

On Dec. 2, a special workshop is planned for City Council to discuss Development Impact Fees and the city’s Twelve Growth Policies. That meeting will be held at the Sutter-Yuba Association of REALTORS office – 1558 Starr Drive, Yuba City – at 4 p.m. Langley said the city wanted to host the meeting there to allow for greater participation by builders and developers.

Then, on Dec. 19, City Council will likely discuss the Development Agreement Amendment and Reimbursement Agreement submitted by Harter Packing.

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