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Behind the Scenes


Growing Pains
Produced by Michael Isip

The Central Valley has always been a distinct region from the fast pace of the Bay Area. Tracy, about 60 miles east of San Francisco, is where the two worlds intersect. In the last decade the city has added more than 20,000 residents. That's the fastest growth rate in the San Joaquin Valley and about 3 times the state average.

Commuters buy about 90 percent of new homes in Tracy. Most new developments are like ghost neighborhoods during the work day. But San Francisco is where the opportunities are, and Tracy is affordable.

About 30 miles away lies the town of Escalon, where residents say bigger is definitely not better. Like Tracy, Escalon was built around the railroad, and on farming. A growth ordinance passed in 1978 limits the number of new homes to 75 a year; the city actually averages about 46. And local shopowners there have the protection of the city, which has banned "big box" retailers in favor of family-run businesses...


Clyde Band
Former Mayor of Tracy

Betty Ann Alvarez
Tracy Business Owner

Dave Ennis
Escalon City Councilman

Larry Swanson
Escalon Business Owner


The complete text of New Valley Episode 101 -- Preserving the Dream...


Presentation also made possible by a grant from
the Great Valley Center


New Valley Official Site