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The Antioch City Council has cleared the way for construction of 1,177 new homes along the city’s southeastern border.

The Ranch, originally proposed in 2015 with 1,600 houses, has been the subject of controversy and legal challenges. The final city approval came Tuesday with the council voting unanimously and Mayor Sean Wright calling the development “a gem.”

The project’s environmental study describes a multigenerational planned community in the city’s Sand Creek Focus Area along Deer Valley Road just west of Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center.

The proposed project comprises up to 1,177 units of housing and a 5-acre Village Center with two acres set aside for a future fire station, 22 acres for parks, a trail staging area, and 229 acres of open space.

A project map identifies the location of the first phase of construction. (Image courtesy of Richland Communities)

Richland Communities, the Irvine-based developer behind the project, has built major projects throughout Northern California.

Local union members spoke in support of the project during Tuesday’s meeting. And Juan Pablo Galvan of the environmental group Save Mount Diablo expressed approval of the project Wednesday.

“We did a lot of work with them to expand their open space and fine work their plans,” Galvan said.

Craig Cristina, senior vice president of Richland Communities, said Tuesday during the meeting that his company had worked hard to “engage the community” on environmental issues and fire safety needs.

The project will be built in three phases, with the first to include approximately 362 units of low-density and medium-density housing. Phase 2 is to include 201 units of low-density housing, and Phase 3 is to include 614 units of low-density and age-restricted housing.

Project manager Kyle Masters told the council Tuesday night that his firm expects construction to begin within three years, with the first residents arriving within five years.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock.

“It looks like a fantastic project,” Vice Mayor Joy Motts added.