The Antioch City Council has given its approval for the Deer Valley Estates housing development, which will cover 37.5 acres at the corner of Deer Valley Road and Wellness Way, across from the Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center.

The project, approved Aug. 10 by a 3-2 vote of the City Council, was first submitted in 2008. It involves construction of 121 single-family homes on the site and associated open space, roadway and utility improvements. The single-family residential units will range in size from about 2,252 square feet to 3,445 square feet and will be located on individual lots that would be a minimum of 7,000 square feet.

All of the residential units will front onto internal streets within the project site, and none would front onto Deer Valley Road or Wellness Way.

The project proposed by developer Blue Mountain Communities will include multiple common open space areas for project residents, including a 1.12-acre private park, which will be in the center of the project site and will include a dog park and a playground. A trail will run through the northwest and center portions of the site and connect the proposed park to Deer Valley Road.

Blue Mountain Communities is based in Vacaville and is currently developing the Delta Coves project on Bethel Island. The housing project drew no council opposition during the meeting, although local resident Andrew Beckley questioned the city’s commitment to affordable housing, noting the high prices of the proposed homes.

While approving the high-end single family homes on Deer Valley Road, the council during the same meeting considered rezoning a number of commercial properties into high-density housing use. While suffering the collapse of the national retail market, Antioch has seen a wave of retail mall and shopping plaza closures, leaving large fallow stretches of commercial properties in the Somersville Road corridor.

City staff offered 10 candidates for rezoning to the council in the Antioch Strategic Infill Housing Study. Among the sites up for consideration included Hillcrest Summit, Hillcrest Terrace, Lakeview Center, InShape Shopping Center, Buchanan Crossings, Deer Valley Plaza, Delta Fair Shopping Center, Somersville Towne Center, Crestview Drive/West 10th Street and 99 Cents Only/Big Lots Center.

City staff also offered up concepts for downtown waterfront improvements during the Tuesday meeting. Saying that the waterfront represents a tremendous opportunity for growth, staff urged the establishment of a “Downtown Dining District,” with restaurants, shopping, recreation and entertainment options.

Another key part of the downtown district proposal envisions the city purchase of the former Beede lumber yard (known as “The Yard”) for use as a central city park or gathering center for civic events.