June 27, 2019

SMUD reaches 1,000 all-electric homes milestone in innovative approach to reducing greenhouse gases.

Expects to reach 2,000 home-build commitments by year end

SMUD and nearly two dozen homebuilders have teamed up to build more than 1,000 all-electric homes over the next two years in several neighborhoods in the community-owned electric utility’s Sacramento County service territory.

The homes are included in the SMUD Smart Home program and are part of a broader electrification effort by SMUD, the first of its kind in the USA. The innovative program designed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions kicked off last fall. Another thousand homes are projected to be contracted for by the end of 2019. The program has enrolled a range of builders—from small local infill, to some of the largest national production builders.

When Santa Monica-based Watt Communities, one of the premier homebuilders in the west, committed to participate in the SMUD All-Electric Smart Home program, the agreements pushed the program past the 1,000-home-commitment milestone.

Watt Communities’ has planned two all-electric developments located in north Natomas. The 57-home “Mystique” community and the 257-home “Artisan Square” community will also include solar roof panels. Mystique is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, while Artisan Square is expected to be ready by the end of 2021.

SMUD provides considerable incentives to builders for including appliances and equipment to make the homes all-electric. These include heat pump heating and cooling, heat pump water heating, and induction stoves—appliances that are more energy efficient and can deliver lower overall energy bills.

SMUD is providing Watt Communities $5,000 per home in incentives. The energy performance of these efficient homes stands at an average of 14 percent better than what is required under the current California energy code. The project will also implement magnetic-induction cooking technology, providing a safer, efficient and more convenient alternative to gas and electric resistance cooktops. “Watt Communities is proud to partner with SMUD to offer our homebuyers the benefits of unique energy-efficient features that will result in yearly savings,” said Mike Von Quilich, vice president of Operations for Watt Communities.

High-performance SMUD Smart Homes are more energy efficient and deliver lower overall energy bills when compared to conventional homes. For example, heat pump water heaters reduce utility bills by approximately $40 per year compared to gas tankless water heaters. Instead of using gas to create heat, heat pump water heaters use a refrigerant cycle to transfer heat from surrounding ambient air into the hot water tank. They also cool the area where they are located, usually in the garage. Induction stoves cook twice as fast as gas stoves. They also use less energy than traditional gas stoves and offer precise, digital control of the temperature, plus they have no open flame. The absence of combustion in all-electric homes results in greater occupant safety and improved indoor air quality.

Bottom line: customers with all-electric homes in SMUD’s service area are well positioned for a renewable energy economy and can typically save $400 compared to homes that rely on gas for space heating and hot water. Each customer’s savings will depend on the specifics of the home and how they operate their home.

These homes will help community-owned SMUD meet its aggressive commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2040 and surpass the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals of 80 percent by 2050.

The SMUD Smart Home program offers design assistance and financial incentives to builders and developers of up to $5,000 for new single-family homes, and up to $1,750 for new multifamily units, built to be all-electric.

SMUD customers who own existing homes in the SMUD service territory can also qualify for up to $13,750 for existing homes that convert from gas to electricity. There are also rebates available from SMUD for traditional efficiency measures such as duct sealing, insulation and windows.

More information about SMUD’s all-electric conversion incentives and other energy-saving information is available at SMUD.org.

 

June 9, 2019

Sentinel staff report– Around 100 people showed up to a street dedication ceremony on Turner Court in Citrus Heights on Friday to memorialize the legacy of Councilman Mel Turner, who died two years ago while serving his second term in office.

Connie Turner, the widow of the late councilman, arrived with family members to the ceremony in a black limo van and was greeted with flowers by Vice Mayor Jeff Slowey.

In opening remarks, before family members and attendees participated in a ribbon cutting, Mayor Jeannie Bruins called Turner a longtime friend and said he had come to the city with a passion for youth and a love for people.

“I remember Mel as a man of compassion, a man of connection, and a man of courage,” said Bruins. “I think if each one of us can embody those qualities in life, we will leave the world a better place, as he did.”

Turner first joined the council in 2010 and served as the city’s mayor in 2014. He was reelected to a four-year term on the council in 2014, but passed away at age 67 on April 20, 2017, after battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year.

Mel Turner, Citrus Heights
Mel Turner

Known for his warm leadership and deep voice, Turner had a focus on mentoring youth and fostering leadership and was credited for his role as a founding member of the Citrus Heights Police Activities League.

Sacramento County Supervisor Sue Frost, who was one of many area dignitaries present at the ceremony on Friday, told The Sentinel that Turner had been the key influence in causing her to run for a position on the Citrus Heights City Council in 2012. She said the street being named after him was a “wonderful tribute to someone who played an important role in our city.”

“This is just a great way to memorialize him, and when we drive by we’ll get to see Turner Court and we’ll think of Mel.”

Friday’s ceremony concluded with an outdoor catered lunch for all attendees.

The Mariposa Creek housing development on Turner Court, located just off Antelope Road, is home to 15 newly constructed homes on a 3.5-acre subdivision that was once voted on by the City Council as a “preferred site” to build a new city hall back in 2014. The then-vacant property was later sold by the city and subsequently developed by Watt Communities,
which has been involved in several current and past housing projects within Citrus Heights’ city limits.

Watt Communities’ projects have included the 46-home AutumnWood development off Antelope Road near Interstate 80 and the current 260-unit Mitchell Farms project approved off Arcadia Drive.

Kevin Webb, Northern California division president for Watt Communities, said he had worked with Turner on prior projects and described him as “authentic and honorable.” Webb selected the street name in Turner’s honor and the City of Citrus Heights joined in putting on the street dedication ceremony.

About half the homes on Turner Court have already sold. Additional information about the homes can be found at www.MariposaCreekbyWatt.com.

Turner Court
Turner Court, located off Antelope Road in Citrus Heights, was named in honor of the late Councilman Mel Turner. // CH Sentinel

 

 

Fair Oaks, CA — April 22, 2019 —

For immediate release

Watt Communities is excited to announce move-in ready homes at Hidden Ridge at Fair Oaks and the pre-sale of new homes at Mariposa Creek at Citrus Heights. Visit the professionally decorated model at Hidden Ridge daily and take advantage of our model leaseback program!

Hidden Ridge is a collection of 22 homes featuring all-new one and two-story home designs ranging from approximately 2,680 to 3,006 sq. ft. with up to 3.5 bathrooms starting in the mid $600,000’s. With 50% of the homes sold at Hidden Ridge, the time to act is now! Take advantage of some of the lowest rates available!

Tucked in the heart of Fair Oaks, Hidden Ridge offers homeowners the opportunity to surround themselves with style and comfort.  These homes are close to freeways, dining, shopping, and recreation. Work by day and play at night and on weekends at the local parks, historical sites, equestrian trails, horticultural centers, and so much more! Lake Natoma and the American River Parkway provide plenty of hiking and biking trails as well as boating opportunities.

As a SMUD® Smart Home, homebuyers receive the benefit of unique energy-efficiency and safety features. With thoughtful detailing given to each open concept floor plan, homebuyers benefit from an attractive interior and exterior detailing, top-of-the-line private master suites, elegantly appointed bathrooms, and state-of-the art kitchens with Samsung stainless steel appliances perfect for entertaining family and friends.  “Our communities are built around what matters most to our homebuyers-family, location, and recreation. We are excited to offer the newest Watt Communities project in the heart of Fair Oaks and Citrus Heights,” Kevin Webb, Watt Communities Northern California Division President.

Mariposa Creek is a limited collection of 15 single-family energy efficient homes with one and two story homes ranging from approximately 1,966 sq. ft. to 2,482 sq. ft. Phase 1 is almost sold out! These spacious homes offer a great space to entertain friends and family. Residents of Mariposa Creek enjoy close proximity to some of the area’s best attractions including the Westfield Galleria Mall, The Fountains, Denio’s Farmers Market and more. Citrus Heights is a great family-oriented community with local schools and parks, including nearby Rusch Community Park that features basketball courts, baseball fields, pools, picnic area, a skate park and more. Now selling in the mid $400,000’s!

“We are excited to offer homes in two great locations.” says Webb.  “There are very few places where residents are conveniently located to recreational amenities while enjoying sophisticated living. We truly believe we build homes with added value that residents will enjoy for years to come.”

Homebuyers interested in either Hidden Ridge at Fair Oaks or Mariposa Creek at Citrus Heights can visit the decorated Hidden Ridge model located at 5139 Ridgevine Way, Fair Oaks, CA 95628.  Office hours are 10:00AM-6:00PM.  For more information, please call (916) 694-8070 or email LScott@wattcommunities.com

CITRUS HEIGHTS — April 4, 2019

Watt Communities is proudly participating in the Citrus Heights Arbor Day Planting! Join the City of Citrus Heights, Sunrise Recreation and Park District, and other partners as we celebrate National Arbor Day and plant over 70 trees at Van Maren Park. There is plenty of parking along Stock Ranch Road, and snacks will be provided.Watt Communities proudly supports the community of Citrus Heights. The Mariposa Creek housing development off Antelope Road in Citrus Heights is expected to be completed by June 2019. Homes are selling quickly! Don’t miss this limited opportunity to own a new construction home with energy efficient features and a 1-year limited warranty. Contact the sales manager at 916-694-8070.

Sentinel staff report–
Construction on Watt Communities’ massive 260-home development off Arcadia Drive and Fair Oaks Boulevard in Citrus Heights is anticipated to begin later this year, with completion of the first homes expected by 2020.

The 56-acre development, known as Mitchell Farms, will feature about 25 acres of open space parks and was approved by the Planning Commission and City Council last year. Watt Communities’ spokeswoman Diana Murphy told The Sentinel no grading or construction activity has begun yet at the site as of this month, but she said plans are being finalized and grading work is expected to begin in April, followed by construction several months later.

“We expect construction to begin in summer, but it really depends on how quickly the grading goes and all of the other things that go along with trying to [get started],” Murphy told The Sentinel on Friday. “It’s a huge project, so there’s a lot of T’s to cross.”

She said the development is the largest Watt has undertaken in Northern California, with the company typically taking on infill projects in the 17-60 unit range. Watt is currently finishing up a 15-home development in Citrus Heights off Antelope Road, and also completed the 46-home AutumnWood housing development off Antelope Road near Interstate 80 several years ago.

Murphy estimated homes in the new Mitchell Farms development will start being completed in early 2020. “It’ll take us at least a couple years to build them all,” she said.

Homes will be grouped in five general “villages,” with sizes ranging from around 1,400-square-feet to approximately 2,000-square-feet, Murphy said. All homes in the development will feature three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms, with the exception of larger-lot homes that will have a loft that can likely be converted into a fourth bedroom.

“We anticipate prices starting in the mid-3’s, going into the high 4’s,” Murphy said, although noting that pricing is subject to change between now and when the homes are completed, depending on the housing market.

Homes in the various villages will range in lot size and layout, with 76 larger-lot homes featuring a 50-by-80-foot yard, while others will be on much smaller lots.

The new housing development was popular among planning commissioners during a public hearing held last year, with many commenting on the need for additional housing to help alleviate the housing crisis affecting the state. Only 79 new housing units were constructed in Citrus Heights between 2013 and 2017, according to a draft environmental report prepared for the project.

A popular aspect of the project has been the large amount of open space incorporated in the development, as a large swath down the middle of the acreage must remain undeveloped due to a 100-year flood plain associated with Arcade Creek. Under an agreement with the Sunrise Recreation and Parks District, the undeveloped acreage will become part of the parks district.

New streets running through the development and connecting with Arcadia Drive and Fair Oaks Boulevard have yet to be named, but Murphy said Watt Communities hopes to do the same as it did with its Mariposa Creek development underway off Antelope Road. The new street installed in that development, Turner Court, was named in honor of the late-Councilman Mel Turner.

“There’s a lot of history on that site so we want to honor that,” said Murphy, referencing the Mitchell Farms site. The 56-acre parcel had been owned by Ted Mitchell, whose family purchased 160 acres in Citrus Heights for $1,600 in gold coins over 100 years ago, according to an interview published by the city’s former History & Arts Commission. Mitchell, now in his nineties, is believed to be the city’s longest-living resident and still owns a significant amount of acreage in the area, including the land where the Citrus Town Center sits.

 

CITRUS HEIGHTS — January 27, 2019 — by Citrus Heights Sentinel

The Mariposa Creek housing development off Antelope Road in Citrus Heights is expected to be completed by May. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
Although construction won’t be complete for several more months, home sales have already begun at a new housing development in Citrus Heights, located off Antelope Road.

The 15-home development, called Mariposa Creek, is being built by Watt Communities and features both single and two-story designs, with homes ranging in size from 1,966-square-feet to just under 2,500-square-feet. Single-story homes feature a three-bedroom, tw0-bath layout, while two-story homes include four bedrooms, three baths, and an upper story loft that can potentially be made into a fifth bedroom. Both options include a two-car garage.

Watt Communities spokeswoman Diana Murphy told The Sentinel on Friday that pre-sales have begun for the new homes, with the first sale already completed and more expected over the weekend. Prices for the homes range from $442,990 to $492,990, according to Watt Communities’ website.

Murphy said construction of all 15 homes are expected to be completed in April and May.

The new development is located on a 3.5-acre property that was once voted on by the City Council as a “preferred site” to build a new city hall back in 2014. The property was later sold by the city, and Watt Communities received approval from the Planning Commission to subdivide the property and add a new street called “Turner Court,” named after the late Councilman Mel Turner who passed away in 2017 while serving his second term on the City Council.

Watt Communities has been involved in several current and past housing projects within Citrus Heights, including the 46-home AutumnWood development off Antelope Road near Interstate 80 and the current 260-unit Mitchell Farms project to be built off Arcadia Drive.

LOS ANGELES — October 16, 2018 —

For immediate release

Hidden ridge by watt communities announces grand opening of highly anticipated fair oaks, ca community

Hidden Ridge by Watt Communities features a collection of 22 single-family homes. Surrounded by a natural landscape setting, yet close to major shopping and dining, Hidden Ridge floorplans are highlighted by center-island kitchens and open concept layouts. Hidden Ridge will feature a spacious collection of all-new one and two-story home designs.

Ideally situated, this great family friendly community is home to some of the area’s best recreational opportunities including golfing at Northridge Country Club or hiking, biking and boating along the American River Parkway, as well as nearby Lake Natoma and Folsom Lake. Convenient access to Hwy 50 is also just around the corner, making the short 12-mile commute to downtown Sacramento a breeze.

 “Hidden Ridge truly embodies fine living,” says Kevin Webb, Watt Communities Northern California Division President.  “There are very few places where residents have an easy access to commute to work but come home to sophisticated living.  Our communities are meant for families to enjoy sophisticated living in quality homes with the environment in mind.”

An exclusive opportunity awaits homebuyers, as Hidden Ridge features two sophisticated designs ranging from approximately 2,680 to 3,006 square feet with up to 3.5 bathrooms starting in the $600,000’s.

As a SMUD® Smart Home, homebuyers receive the benefit of unique energy-efficiency and safety features. With thoughtful detailing given to each floor plan, homebuyers benefit from an attractive interior and exterior detailing, top-of-the-line private master suites, elegantly appointed bathrooms, and state-of-the art kitchens perfect for entertaining family and friends. “Our community is built around what matters most to our homebuyers-family, location, and recreation. We are excited to offer the latest Watt Communities project in the heart of Fair Oaks,” says Webb. With over 70-years of successfully building new homes and creating exceptional communities, we help build a better quality of life.

Homebuyers interested in Hidden Ridge at Fair Oaks can visit thedecorated model located at 5139 Ridgevine Way, Fair Oaks, CA 95628.  Office hours are 10:00AM-6:00PM.  For more information, please call (916) 694-8070 or email LScott@wattcommunities.com

Fair Oaks, California — 4 September 2018 — After the city’s planning commission voted 5-1 to recommend the go ahead, Mitchell Farms was unanimously approved by the City of Citrus Heights on August 23rd.

Located off Greenback Lane and Sunrise Boulevard in Citrus Heights, Mitchell Farms will be a remarkable lifestyle community. The project is carefully designed and priced to meet the needs of first time and move up buyers. Features will include luxury residences in a wide variety of styles, along with open space, trails and outdoor amenities.

Mitchell Farms is comprised of approximately 56 acres and is planned for 261 single family residences. The project is contiguous to existing residential development and is considered one of the few remaining infill residential opportunities in Citrus Heights. Lot sizes will range from 4,000 to 16,000 sq. ft. This long planned development will offer housing opportunities and amenities not currently available in Citrus Heights.

Mitchell Farms will feature ample open space, parks and trails. This new community will be a short distance to grocery and specialty retail stores,  a 5- minute drive to Hwy 80 and is planned with a focus on water conservation and energy efficiency.

The proposed project will include a mix of residential uses located on approximately 32 acres and will accommodate approximately 663 residents. It will consist of five villages along the periphery of the site with a mix of three different housing types: 110 paseo units (alley-loaded single-family units), 72 patio units (groups of 2 to 8 single-family units accessed from a central alley), and 78 traditional housing units. The remaining 23 acres in the central portion of the site, including the creek corridor, would be devoted to recreational areas and open space uses including a trail system.

According to Kevin Webb, Northern California division president for Watt Communities, construction will likely begin in spring of 2019 and homes would be completed about 12 months later.

Proposed 260-unit Mitchell Farms development.

By Citrus Heights Sentinel, staff report — For the past five years, Citrus Heights has seen an average of just 16 new housing units constructed per year. But on Thursday, the City Council is expected to give final approval for a 260-home development project near Sunrise Boulevard and Greenback Lane that would rapidly boost the number of new homes being built in the city.

Public discussion about the massive, 56-acre Mitchell Farms housing development was first presented by Watt Communities in 2016 and was followed by the nearly year-long preparation of an environmental impact report for the proposal. Last month, the city’s planning commission voted 5-1 to recommend the city council approve the project, a vote which is slated to occur at the council’s Aug. 23 meeting at city hall.

Following a public hearing, the council will vote on whether to certify the project’s extensive environmental impact report, as well as adopt a related General Plan amendment, and approve a tentative map and several associated permits for the project. The council will also introduce for a first reading an ordinance re-zoning the property to become the “Mitchell Farms Special Planning Area.”

Related: Planning Commission votes 5-1 in favor of 260-home development in Citrus Heights

As previously reported, the housing is planned to be spread out into three general communities, with a large 23-acre swath down the middle remaining undeveloped due to a 100-year flood plain associated with Arcade Creek. Under an agreement with the Sunrise Recreation and Parks District, the undeveloped acreage would become part of the parks district and would be maintained using funds from a property tax assessment fee paid annually by each homeowner in the development.

According to a city staff report, the development would have an average density of 8.1 homes per acre, with housing spread out into three general communities and three types of housing targeted towards different buyers. Homes would range in size from about 1,400-square-feet to 2,100-square-feet, and would include 78 standard single-family homes, 110 “alley-loaded” units, and 72 “patio” units, which are groups of 2 to 8 single-family units accessed from a central alley.

A map of the project shows homes would be accessible through two entrances on Arcadia Drive, with a roundabout, as well as an entrance on Fair Oaks Boulevard, just south of the Heather Downs apartment complex. A vehicle bridge that was initially proposed to connect the northern and southern housing villages was removed from the plans due to concerns about “cut-through” traffic and the developer discovering significantly more costs associated with building the bridge.

The project was popular among planning commissioners during last month’s public hearing, with many commenting on the need for additional housing to help alleviate the housing crisis affecting the state and Commissioner Jack Duncan calling the project “probably the best thing that’s happened to Citrus Heights since becoming a city.” Only 79 new housing units were constructed in Citrus Heights between 2013 and 2017, according to a draft environmental report prepared for the project.

As previously reported by The Sentinel, Commissioner Duncan also ended up being the only “no” vote on the project, citing the decision to remove the connector bridge as one of his reasons. He also cited proposed speed bumps and the lack of a new crosswalk being installed on Arcadia Drive as reasons for his decision to vote against the project.

If approved by the council, construction would likely begin in spring of 2019 and homes would be completed about 12 months later, according to Kevin Webb, Northern California division president for Watt Communities.

Proposed 260-unit Mitchell Farms development.

As California struggles with a housing shortage crisis, developers are still finding vacant spots in Citrus Heights to tuck new housing into — with several hundred homes and housing units either approved or proposed to be constructed in the near future.

The most major project currently under review is a 260-unit proposal off Arcadia Drive, near Sunrise Boulevard and Greenback Lane. The project is set to be considered for approval by the city’s planning commission this Wednesday.

Other housing projects in the city include a 42-unit development behind Bearpaw’s corporate headquarters at Sylvan Corners that was approved earlier this year, along with a 23-home development off Sunrise Boulevard at 7878 Lawrence Ave. — although that project appears to have stalled sometime after it was approved in 2016. Work has also begun on a 46-home development at 5555 Mariposa Ave., and a proposal is currently under review to build eight new single-family homes on a small lot next to Walmart on Auburn Boulevard.

First on schedule for completion is Watt Communities’ new Mariposa Creek development, a project that will bring 15 new single-family homes to 7625 Antelope Rd., near Mariposa Avenue, on what the city council had once identified as a “preferred site” to build a new city hall back in 2014. Earth-moving equipment has been at the 3.5-acre site for several months, and Kevin Webb, Northern California division president for Watt Communities, told The Sentinel construction of the homes is on schedule to begin next month, with homes slated to be sold and completed by December of this year.

Webb said prices will be in the lower $400,000-range, with single-story options featuring a 1,966-square-foot floor plan, three bedrooms and a two-car garage, according to Watt Communities’ website. Two-story options will feature a larger layout of around 2,500-square-feet, with four bedrooms and a loft, along with three bathrooms and a two-car garage.

As reported by The Sentinel earlier this month, the Mariposa Creek development will also include a new street, Turner Court, named in honor of the late Councilman Mel Turner, who passed away while serving his second term in office last year.

Watt Communities is also the company which has proposed the massive, 56-acre Mitchell Farms development off Arcadia Drive, where the Sunrise Golf Course currently operates. Since being proposed in 2016, an extensive environmental review was undertaken that took nearly a year to complete and generated a 1,000-plus page environmental impact report, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

Related: Watt Communities proposes huge 261-unit development in Citrus Heights

The housing is planned to be spread out into three general communities, with a large 23-acre swath down the middle remaining undeveloped due to a 100-year flood plain associated with Arcade Creek. According to the latest map of the proposal, the development would be accessible through two entrances on Arcadia Drive, with a roundabout, as well as an entrance on Fair Oaks Boulevard, just south of the Heather Downs apartment complex.

Proposed 260-unit Mitchell Farms development.

Webb previously told The Sentinel that prices will range from the “high 2’s to low 4’s,” with sizes ranging from 1,400-square-feet to 2,500-square-feet. He said “cluster units” are proposed to feature a master bedroom downstairs and be targeted towards seniors, while other single-family homes and units would be targeted towards first-time home buyers and new families. All homes would be governed by a home owners association.

The initial proposal has undergone some changes — including a minor reduction in the number of units to 260, as well as a connector road in the development no longer being proposed to handle vehicle traffic, according to the agenda packet for the upcoming planning commission meeting.

During a public hearing held in April regarding the draft environmental impact report, two residents spoke and addressed concerns regarding public safety, fire and flooding, as well as noise along Sunrise Boulevard.

Nancy Graham, president of the area’s neighborhood association also wrote a letter to the city stating concerns about a perceived lack of privacy and security for homes along Arcadia drive that are proposed to face towards the street, rather than facing in with a wall along Arcadia. She also noted concerns about added traffic on Fair Oaks Boulevard and suggested more fencing and gates to reduce access for homeless who may want to camp in the greenbelt that would run through the development.

At the July 18 meeting, planning commissioners will consider approving a general plan and zoning code amendment related to the project, along with approving a tentative subdivision map, design review and tree permits, and certification of the project’s environmental impact report. The meeting will be held at city hall at 7 p.m.