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Big housing development at south end of town taking shape

A housing development at the site of the old Dutra quarry is starting to take shape, as roads and houses have appeared in recent months in the hills above Petaluma Boulevard South and next to Highway 101.

Quarry Heights, as the 47-acre subdivision is named, will include 272 units and should be fully built by 2015. The subdivision is a project of KB Home, a nationwide developer that makes "build to order" homes, meaning that houses are built as they are bought rather than all at once.

In recent months, crews have been working on grading the hillside site and paving roads. A total of six model homes have been built, three in each of the development's separate sections for single family homes and townhouses.

"We're hoping to have an informational trailer on the site open at the end of May," said Craig LeMessurier, a KB Home spokesperson. An interest sign-up list will be available at that point. Underground utilities will be installed in July, and the grand opening of model units will come in June.

The site sits on land that Dutra operated a rock quarry on for 30 years. The quarry closed in 2005.

A large roundabout at 1600 Petaluma Blvd. South will serve as the entrance to the site. City crews have temporarily narrowed the road from four lanes to two lanes to work on the entrance, and the speed limit has been reduced from 45 mph to 25 mph during construction. City crews have been working on one half of the roundabout, and this week will shift traffic flows to work on the other half. The entire construction on the road should be finished in mid June, said city engineers.

The housing project was first planned in 2005 but stalled because of the slow economy. The final plan was approved by the City Council in August 2010.

Quarry Heights is the largest housing development to be built in Petaluma in several years.

The lots will range in size from 13,050 to 29,030 square feet, and prices will start in the low $300,000s.

(Contact Philip Riley at philip.riley@arguscourier.com)


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