Recently, Kern County planning commissioners denied a large housing development on the northwest side of Bakersfield, calling it “premature” to the overall growth plan.
This housing development project, termed the Stonefield project, lies outside the core urban development area that Bakersfield administrators wish to pursue first. Since the project sits outside the core area, it received denial by the Kern County planning commissioners.
As reported on Bakersfield.com, Stonefield project spokesman Roger McIntosh stated that the county outlined detailed, extensive mitigation measures the developer could complete to handle the impacts of building so far from the city core.
Still, the county commissioners denied the project.
Now, the Stonefield project’s fate lies in the hands of Kern County Supervisors.
Many perceive its authorization as unlikely; however, the supervisors have made surprising approvals before.
Lorelei Oviatt, Kern County Special Projects Division Chief, said the board has approved past projects, like Stonefield, that planners ruled as premature to urban growth.
Oviatt, however, still contends that the project serves no immediate purpose to the county’s core development plan. She believes it to be untimely because no solutions exist to remedy how the ever-growing traffic on the northwest side could cause congestion and gridlock.
“We just can’t keep up with the transportation needs,” Oviatt stated.
The federal government has given Kern County money to create freeways around the city; however, those funds will not extend the highways that far out to reach where the Stonefield project will take place.
“I believe the board has been fully informed about this project and will make an appropriate decision,” said Oviatt.
Kern County Supervisors now serve as final arbitrator on this project’s future. Their final word may shed light on their overall planning goals for the future of Bakersfield. The decision will be made on June 16th.