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Major consequences for Manteca & Ripon
Roofers work on a new Raymus Home south of the 120 Bypass. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

Enough housing units are now on the development playing board to turn Manteca into a city of 105,000 residents if they are all built.
And nowhere will the transformation of the landscape from open fields, almond orchards, and vineyards to housing tracts and apartments be greater than south of  the 120 Bypass where 8,274 housing units — or 8.5 of every 10 proposed new homes and apartments — are targeted to be built. Altogether 9,779 future homes are in play with the potential of adding 29,337 residents to Manteca that is expected to reach a population of 75,000 people later this year.
These aren’t simply abstract numbers. As of April 1:
uThere were 733 single family housing lots that were part of final maps and are ready to build.
uThere were 1,512 apartments with site plan approval and are ready to build.
uThere were 4,785 single family housing lots that have tentative maps approved and have pending final maps. Of those nearly 1,500 lots have since moved to the point of final approval or are just a few steps away.
uThere were 2,476 single family housing lots in the application process.
In addition since then a 339-acre project  stretching from a point north of Woodward Avenue to Sedan Avenue bordering the west side of South Main Street/South Manteca Road known as  Griffin Park is in the first stages of the environmental review process. The project has the potential of adding at least 1,000 homes. The developers want to roll out the city’s first project that aims to meet the housing needs of four distinct income brackets. It could include as many as 1,000 homes ranging from smaller homes ranging from 1,200 to 1,400 square feet at a density of eight to an acre to larger estate-style lots with homes ranging from 3,000 to 5,500 square feet.
All but 1,000 of the potential homes are included in the April 1, 2016 housing inventory compiled by the Community Development Department.  

Sizzling Bay Area economy,
long review process increases
chances of the homes being built
While it doesn’t mean the homes will all be built, given that they represent significant upfront money on the part of developers it significantly increasing the odds of the “paper lots” being turned into homes. A typical 250-home project between environmental studies, engineering and such can easily present a $350,000 investment. The environmental impact report for the Griffin Park project alone is costing developers $230,161. Then there is the investment in the purchase of land and/or options to buy it.
But perhaps the biggest two factors that will likely mean most of the proposed homes will be built is the continued growing Bay Area economy that is married with a growing shortage of housing as well as it can take five years under California’s exhaustive environmental  review process to go from conception to lots ready to build.
While that includes perhaps a year or less of time to actually construct subdivision improvements to create lots ready to build on, it underscores the value of projects moving through the planning process and being ready for market demands.
It also has opened the door to making the biggest players in the new home building market in Manteca no longer local firms such as Raymus Homes and Atherton Homes but out-of-area builders that purchase subdivision maps that have been shepherded through the planning process and have all of the necessary approvals needed to turn dirt.
Manteca’s 1980s-era growth cap that limits housing on sewer allocations to 3.9 percent of the previous year’s housing stock is already to the point 1,000 plus homes can be built each year.
 It can actually top that given the ordinance is written in such a manner that any allocations not used are rolled over into future years. That has created a situation where theoretically close to a third of all of the nearly 10,000 lots could be built in one year. The rollover made seen when the annual sewer allotments under the cap were less than 350 a year.
Given that some of the maps have been approved to allow new home construction that isn’t subject to Mello-Roos taxes critical for schools to build facilities to accommodate growth, the leadership of Manteca Unified has vowed to undertake a high profile education of potential buyers pointing out the possibility for year round schools and other Band-Aid approaches unless developers work with the school district.

Possible flood of
houses could shape
council election
And unlike River Islands at Lathrop where 11,000 homes are planned through one developer who has agreed to build everything from schools and parks to even the state-mandated levee protection, Manteca needs to deal with multiple developers to address such needs.
As the start of filing for the two seats up for election Nov. 8 on the Manteca City Council draws near, various community groups have made it clear that there are major issues that need to be addressed.
uGiven many of the South Manteca homes will end up being in the Ripon Unified School District, the RUSD — just like Manteca Unified — wants future school facilities addressed. At the same time there is a growing concern in Ripon what a Manteca growing south toward that community will do to the small-town quality of life.
uRural south Manteca residents not only may one day find their  country estates backing up to tract homes but they may also have their rural neighborhoods disrupted by major roads to handle anticipated traffic movements as well as to provide flood protection for future residents.
uHousing that people who work in Manteca can afford to buy or rent is among key issues for council challengers Gary Singh, David Cushman, Jeff Zellner and Ben Cantu. While none have advocated stopping growth, they have criticized the lack of diverse housing being built. The hot market — and the ones banks are most willing to back developers to build — is essentially affordable housing for Bay Area workers that often make Manteca’s median household income or more. They are being forced to head east over the Altamont Pass to find either homes to purchase or rent. And in a growing number of cases they are simply trying to find apartments to rent. As a result Manteca-based workers are being squeezed out of housing as rents have soared in response to the market.

One bedroom Manteca
apartment rents for
$1,590 at upper end
A check of apartment rents in Manteca shows rents have gone up nearly 10 percent since January,
Manteca’s costliest one bedroom apartments — 737-square-foot units at Paseo Villas billed as a luxury complex on Atherton Drive — are now commanding between $1,490 and $1,590 a month depending upon the unit’s location.
Laurel Glenn —  a complex on Button Avenue in East Manteca that has been upgrading its interiors with more amenities — is now fetching $1,345 a month for a 597-square-foot one bedroom apartment.
The two bedroom, one bathroom Laurel Glenn apartments that rented for $780 in 2007 are now going for $1,465 to $1,535 depending upon the location.
A 660-square-foot one bedroom unit at Stonegate Apartments on West Center Street is now renting for $1,050 to $1,075 a month.