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Move afoot to build 430 Lathrop homes

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POSTED December 14, 2013 12:03 a.m.

LATHROP – A phoenix is rising from the ashes of a failed residential development that was a prolonged headache for the City of Lathrop and a missed opportunity for some landowners that thought the massive tract was imminent.

Next week the Lathrop Planning Commission will hold a special meeting to decide whether to give Saybrook CLSP LLC the green light to move forward with plans to construct a 430-home development on land in a portion of town that has been dubbed “Central Lathrop” – the land near Lathrop High School that was at one-time supposed to be built-out by Richland Planned Communities.

The 94.4-acre site – a triangular piece of property located within Spartan Way, Golden Valley Parkway and Land Park Drive – will, if approved, consist of homes with lots that range from 4,000 to 7,000 square-feet and will include nearly 5-acres of park and open space.

But that’s not to say that the area has been completely untouched since the Richland project failed several years ago – leaving in its wake a series of lawsuits that ensnared the city.

The high school was built before any of the major underground work was completed in the area, which provided its own boondoggle for the city after Manteca Unified learned just weeks before it was to open that there was no working sewer. The site has been on a septic system since it opened. The massive sewer lift station intended to serve the burgeoning development – and the school – is nearly completed.

Making sure that the work was done prior to the first shovel of dirt was turned over was one of the conditions that the city placed on the developer.

And earlier this year the school district announced that plans were still in place for the construction of Ethel Allen School – a Richalnd-era project that seemed to die when the promised rooftops in that part of the community went away.

No timetable had been set as of October, but the announcement that as many as 430 single-family homes – which would likely be built in phases – would more than likely force the district’s hand and the creation of some sort of plan to determine a construction schedule. One school built on the west side of I-5 already serves the students of Mossdale Landing tract, and the schools being built as part of the River Islands development are going to be part of Banta Elementary School District.

The Planning Commission will meet on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Centre Drive. The previous meeting of the planning commission, on Dec. 11, was cancelled.

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