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Climate plan could push up prices
Value of existing homes benefactor of greenhouse gas law?
Bigger homes will become much more difficult to build in Manteca and elsewhere through implementation of Assembly Bill 32. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Worried about your home price bouncing back up?

Manteca Mayor Willie Weatherford doesn’t think you have much to worry about.

“Existing homes are going to become very valuable,” Weatherford said.

The mayor bases his prediction on a 2006 law that has yet to become part of the vernacular outside of government circles and businesses that are worried about its long-term ramifications and cost. The Global Warming Solutions Act or Assembly 32 signed into law mandates that cities such as Manteca reduce their respective community’s carbon footprint as well as reduce water consumption.

And the only way to do that is to move away from traditional single family home subdivisions with four to six homes per acre. That means more homes per acre, smaller homes, and smaller yards.

“You are going to see a lot more apartment-style developments,” Weatherford said noting some may look like the Z-lot line homes behind Wal-Mart on Mission Ridge Drive or others that are zero-lot lines such as the Golf Villas on Union Road at Crom Street.

“It’s very said because the state is basically killing off the American Dream,” the mayor added.

Weatherford believes that as cities and counties are forced to nix traditional tract style housing in order to comply, it will significantly increase demand for existing homes that have 6,000-square-foot lots or larger with a house and yard.

“The law will only effect new development,” Weatherford said.

His theory - and that of some economists - is the demand could become so great that existing homes one day could sell for more than new homes of equal size due to them becoming  a scarce commodity.

And even though Manteca has nearly 17,000 housing units on the drawing board with roughly four in five being tract-style homes, many of those probably won’t get built.

That’s because Assembly Bill 32 supersedes existing general plans that development  must follow. The state is requiring cities such a Manteca to devise climate action plans that assures general plans do not undermine Assembly Bill 32 goals.

Manteca as an entire community generated 408,869 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2010. Based on growth projections and current usage, Manteca will generate 548,437 metric tons of emissions in 2020. State regulations being implemented on everything from how car engines are built to blanket air quality standards and water use regulations is expected to whittle that number down to 441,668 metric tons in 2020. Manteca’s community target as assigned by the state, though, is 429,693 metric tons of emissions.

That means Manteca has to come up with city driven ways to reduce projected emissions by another 12,014 metrics tons a year.

The administrative draft of the state required climate action plan that is just now starting to be circulated has 12,289 metric tons of emission reductions proposed. That would essentially take down today’s per capital of 6.27 tons of emissions down to 4.91 metric tons for every Manteca resident.

The reduction strategies cover modifications to land use, transportation, energy use for new and existing buildings, waste diversion, water recycling, energy recovery, and specific strategies for the city itself in regards to municipal operations. It also imposes changes for existing development.