Modesto voters weighed in strongly in favor of eventually extending sewer service to the airport neighborhood, approving Measure V almost 68 percent to 32 percent. Since 1995, the city has been required to hold advisory votes before extending sewer trunk lines to new areas. Although the mandate was implemented as a strategy to limit growth, it also applies to so-called county islands or pockets, neighborhoods that were developed decades ago under lower county standards. Typically they lack sidewalks and lights and rely on septic tanks.
Measure V covered 466 residential parcels in the area bordered by Hyde Street, Conejo Avenue, Oregon Avenue and Santa Rosa Avenue. About 1,600 people live in the airport neighborhood. They have Modesto addresses but are not within the city. The vote does not mean the area will be annexed to the city in the near future. The bigger obstacle is finding the funds to pay for the sewer lines and other improvements.
Measure V may be the last advisory vote on a single neighborhood. The city and Stanislaus County have been working on a comprehensive plan that would cover all of the remaining county pockets within or adjoining the city. That collective measure could be on the next scheduled city ballot in 2015.