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Transit village & business park

348-acre project planned near McKinley & W. Yosemite

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Transit village & business park

Outlined in this aerial view is the site for the proposed Lathrop Gateway Business Park southwest of West Yosemite and McKinley avenues.

Photo contributed/


POSTED July 15, 2009 2:38 a.m.
LATHROP – The almond orchards are all gone.

Expected to replace the nut-producing crops in a portion of the 384-acre specific-plan area south of Lathrop’s city limits at Vierra Road west of McKinley Avenue is a project called Lathrop Gateway Business Park. It is being advanced as a transit village complete with a new location for the Lathrop-Manteca Altamont Commuter Express station.

South Lathrop, LLC which is the developer of this project, has already filed applications at City Hall for approval of the Lathrop Gateway Business Park Specific Plan. To determine if the project will not have any negative impact on the environment, the city has started preparations for an EIR (environmental impact report) study. A copy of the notice of preparation (NOP) for this study is now available for the public to review and to make any comments. The required 30-day public review for this part of the process will end on July 31.

Anyone wishing to have additional information on this EIR study may attend a “scoping meeting” scheduled for Thursday, July 30, starting at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Lathrop City Hall, 390 Towne Centre Drive at Mossdale Landing.
 A printed copy of the project’s NOP, which includes a checklist of environmental items that could be affected in a significant or lesser way, are available for the public’s perusal at Lathrop City Hall during regular business hours – 8 a.m. to 6 pm. Monday to Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. It may also be accessed on the city’s web site at www.ci.lathrop.ca.us

The developers of the proposed Gateway Business Park who submitted the applications to the city include Tom Luckey and of TCN Properties in Lathrop and partners from Los Gatos, said Assistant Community Development Director Charlie Mullen.

“Yes, he’s still involved (in the project),” Mullen said of Luckey, “but Richland is out of the picture.”

Richland Planned Communities started out as part of the would-be developers in the South Lathrop Specific Plan Area project several years ago. Richland’s portion of the development was to have been the agricultural area toward the San Joaquin River south of the Highway 120 Bypass. Richland’s plan was to develop this part of South Lathrop as a low-density residential project.

When that initial project first came into the radar at Lathrop City Hall, the then-unnamed Gateway Business Park earned plenty of kudos from council members including former mayor Gloryanna Rhodes who was at the helm at that time. Rhodes, who was then on the Rail Commission which is the agency behind the highly successful ACE (Altamont Commuter Express) Train, particularly lauded the developers’ proposal for a pedestrian-friendly housing community that would be near and around a new location for the Lathrop-Manteca ACE Train Station with an expanded parking lot at the railroad tracks on South McKinley Avenue. An elementary school and commercial centers to serve the residents here were also part of that early plan.

68 acres of office, commercial uses
Under the proposal submitted by South Lathrop, LLC, the 384-acre project would consist of the following: 68 acres for office and commercial uses, 190 acres for limited industrial use, 49 acres for service commercial developments, and the remaining 77 acres for public facilities and roads. A few residential houses and several light industrial businesses already exist in some parts of the proposed site, specifically the east-west narrow island between Vierra Road and West Yosemite Avenue.

The location of the business park is bounded by the following perimeters: West Yosemite Avenue and Vierra Road to the north, Interstate 5 to the west, and the Highway 120 Bypass to the south. The area is situated between the two Union Pacific Railroad tracks that run through the southern section of Lathrop.

The development site is still unincorporated county area but is in Lathrop’s sphere of influence. Before the project can be started, it would need to be annexed to the city. The city, as the lead agency, has to file annexation papers with the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission for approval. The project would also need an amendment to the city’s general plan.
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