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384-acre project may generate jobs in Lathrop
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LATHROP – It’s now up to the Lathrop City Council to approve land use changes that will clear the way for the 384-acre Lathrop Gateway Business Park that could bring commercial office and industrial space to the community.

The Lathrop Planning Commission last week voted to recommend that the City Council adopt the environmental impact report, the general plan land use map amendments, the specific plan and the zoning text and map amendments that will help clear the way for the project. The mixed use development is being proposed just south of the existing city limits west of McKinley Avenue and north of the 120 Bypass.

The commission agreed to pull the annexation request that was included in the packet – something that the developer asked for prior to the start of the meeting – and will bring that matter back at a future meeting.

“Because of the cost associated with annexing to the city, the applicant has decided to hold off on that portion until a major user can be brought in to help secure the funding for that,” said Lathrop Community Development Director Glen Gebhardt. “As soon as you annex a piece of property to the city, there are certain things like police protection that you have to provide, and they weren’t ready to do that just yet.”

Gebhardt said that the details about who is paying for what when it comes to the project is still being hashed out, and those discussion will continue until an agreement is reached. The matter will be brought back at a later date.

According to the staff report presented to the commission, 57 acres of the project will be designated for commercial office space while 168 acres will be reserved for limited industrial uses. Another 83 acres are being held for service commercial use and the remaining 77 acres will cover the roads and public facility sites needed for a large undertaking.

Once the applicant is ready for the annexation request to go forward, and if it clears both the planning commission and the city council, it will be up to the Local Agency Formation Commission to approve the formal annexation of the land to the City of Lathrop. The parcel itself is already up against the existing city limits, and according to the staff report on the item, is a logical progression and expansion for the city.

The property is also already in Lathrop’s Sphere of Influence – meaning that it was intended that it would eventually be annexed to the city once development came to the area.

By securing the major industrial tenants ahead of time, the developers – listed as South Lathrop, LLC in paperwork filed with the city – can ensure that the cost associated with annexation is covered and future documents including site development approvals, tentative subdivision maps and development agreements will be able to move forward through the planning pipeline.

Because of the premature nature of the project, Gebhardt said that there hasn’t been any indication of a timeline as to when the shovels will turn dirt.