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NEW ROAD FOR MANTECA?

Fee vote could make city competitive, cut costs, reduce confusion dealing with city, plus modify gro

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NEW ROAD FOR MANTECA?

The revised road fees charged to growth will help pay for new interchange work along the 120 Bypass such as the Union Road diverging diamond project targeted to start construction in late 2018.

Photo contributed/


POSTED September 30, 2017 12:51 a.m.

Manteca can live without two new interchanges on Highway 99.
That directive from the City Council has allowed the development of a proposed revised growth fee for new roads that will make Manteca more competitive for distribution jobs, establish retail fees that are 37 percent more than the regional average instead of nearly 50 percent higher, won’t kill off city efforts to land a major resort hotel, and will allow needed major road and interchange projects to move forward. The fees are based on a council edict to make sure future growth pays its way.
The City Council on Tuesday will consider updating the Public Facilities Implementation Plan (PFIP) fees for transportation for the first time since they were adopted some 24 years ago in 1993.
Should the council adopt the fees, it will have ripple effects. It could change the course of major road development, alter future traffic assumptions, and even change long-range growth patterns. That means the contentious debate over the alignment of the Raymus Expressway — or even whether it should still be built — could change.
 It also makes it almost a forgone conclusion that Manteca will refuse to allow the closure of Austin Road access on Highway 99 to accommodate plans to improve safety and traffic efficiency at the 120 Bypass and Highway 99 interchange.
A positive vote would also signal a policy shift in how the city deals with the development community, attracts new businesses, and works with the community in general. Simply put, “keep it simple stupid” is one of the pillars of the fee.
The Delta Building Industry Association — in meeting with the council subcommittee of Debby Moorhead and Gary Singh — successful drove home the point that fees based on zones and not one universal fee created confusion, slowed project reviews, and added significantly to staff time to administer. Multiple fees also have had a tendency to cost Manteca private sector jobs. The city discovered that years ago when an engineer for BR Funstein inquired about fees to expand the flooring products distribution center on South Main Street and was provided erroneous information due to the city’s complicated and confusing fee structure. The firm was getting ready to pull out of Manteca until the city realized what had happened and supplied the firm with the correct information and vowed to fast tract the building review and permit processing.
In addition the fee will have a built-in mechanism requiring updates of what is charged due to construction inflation or changes in the plan to prevent another 24 years from passing before the fees are adjusted.
The revised fees — the accumulation of tortuous processes that started in 2009 — were originally presented to the council in July. The fees as proposed in July would have added $2,661 to $13,800 to the cost of building home depending on where it was located in Manteca based on a zone system, would have cost SaveMart $1,538,010 to build a new store at Woodward Avenue and Atherton Drive, and would have tagged $3,633,000 onto the cost of a 750-room resort hotel at the rate of $4,844 a room.
The latest fee plan creates one citywide fee for a single family home of $8,300, imposes a $5,800 fee per unit for multi-family swelling such as apartments, and sets the hotel fee at $1,495 per room. That means a 750-room hotel would be charged $1,121,250.
The fees presented in July were based on the need to raise $306 million over the next 20 years for major road projects and interchange work that the current and previous councils had adopted as municipal policy.
The interchange work was more than half of that amount coming in at $159 million. It was based on Manteca needing to pay for three new interchanges, upgrades to three existing interchanges and to widen overcrossings on Louise Avenue and Cottage Avenue to four lanes.
The directive to drop the Raymus/Highway 99 interchange cut $75 million from the bill. Dropping an envisioned interchange midway between French Camp Road and Lathrop Road on Highway 99 for a proposed extension of Lovelace Road saves another $15 million and avoids repeating the ill will that the city’s efforts to determine a route for the Raymus Express through a large swath of rural South Manteca has caused.
To get the cost of the PFIP projects down to $215,807,783 the latest fees reduced the cost charged to growth for all remaining interchange/overcrossing work (widening Louise Avenue and Cottage Avenue bridges as an example) by 30 percent saving $27 million. That means if the city wants to pursue widening those freeway crossing they will have to seek out other sources to cover the funding gap.

Council vote may also help
determine feasibility of
1,202apartment units
A second question the council needs to answer Tuesday in regards to PFIP fees could play a role in how soon 1,202 additional apartment units are built in Manteca.
There are five multi-family projects in the planning process. This does not include the 164-unit Tesoro Apartments now under construction at Atherton Drive and Van Ryn Avenue that will not be affected by the new fees the council may adopt Tuesday.
The developers of the five proposed apartment complexes want to lock in the current road fees instead of the new ones by entering into development agreements.
The projects include the Woodbridge Apartments (172 units) near the northeast corner of Lathrop Road and Union Road, Luxury Apartments (132 units) near the northwest corner of Lathrop Road and Union Road, Cottage Avenue apartments for low income seniors (48 apartments) at Cottage on the southeast corner of the Highway 99 overcrossing, Terra Ranch Apartments (200 units) at the future McKinley Avenue intersection with Atherton Drive, and a plan to build 650 multi-family units in conjunction with Orchard Valley.
Under the existing fees the projects would pay a combined $1.9 million. The proposed fee would come to $7 million creating a $5.1 million shortfall.
Funding for apartment complexes are notoriously difficult to secure.
That aside, the city has a stake in the Cottage Avenue project as it involves redevelopment agency money.

How fees were
determined by consultant
Fehr & Peers traffic engineers took the reduced $215 million price tag for identified projects, calculated average trips per use and determined 68 percent of trips were assigned to residential uses and 32 percent of trips were assigned to commercial and industrial uses.
They also created a hotel category that never previous existed at the council’s direction given hotel guests generate trips at different rate than residential or a commercial use.
That resulted in the following fees:
$8,300 for single family residential.
$5,900 a unit for multi-family residential.
$7,125 per 1,000 square feet for medical offices.
2,180 per 1,000 square feet for general/professional offices.
$6,550 per 1,000 square feet for community commercial.
$9,950 per 1,000 square feet for regional commercial.
$1,495 per hotel room.
$1,495 per 1,000 square feet for industrial park/research and development.
$795 per 1,000 square feet for distribution/high cube spec buildings.
The City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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