SALINAS, Calif. – The possibility of thousands of new homes coming to Salinas now lies in the hands of city council. Tuesday evening, councilmembers looked over a proposed plan that would add several neighborhoods to the big plot of land just north of the Boronda area.

The city says tonight was the first step to possibly moving forward on developments the city says will appeal to a mixed range of incomes.

“This is the single greatest step to adding more housing units to the central coast in decades,” Salinas city council member Steve McShane said.

Over the last few decades Salinas has worked on their future growth plan, and this area is a key in that development.

“We had people who own the land that have started working with developers and builders and we’re doing just one section to start. We’re talking 4,500 homes,” Mayor Joe Gunter said.

The goal is for a mixed range of housing that includes single-family homes, duplexes and apartments.

“These units, whether they’re for rent or whether they’re for purchase, will be more available to folks on limited incomes then we’ve ever seen in Salinas,” McShane said.

McShane said he believes city council is unanimously in favor of this plan.

Those against the building fear it will be housing focused on people working in Silicon Valley, and not affordable for low income residents on the Central Coast. Gunter says it’s the appropriate time for a mix of new housing options for everyone.

“This will stabilize the market and provide housing for young people, for our seniors, and for our people who can’t afford our newest homes,” Gunter said.

In addition to the homes, the proposed neighborhoods will also include shopping, restaurants and schools.

The city says the development, “will be built over an estimated period of 20 to 30 years.”