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Downtown losing 185 parking spaces
Direct result of state shutting down redevelopment
This is portion of the South Grant Street public parking lot that Manteca will lose to help pay down the state deficit. - photo by HIME ROMERO

A 51-space parking lot on South Grant Street behind the shuttered Kelley Brothers Brewery will eventually be sold to help tackle the state’s deficit that is currently at least $16 billion and growing.

It is among 185 downtown Manteca public parking spaces in jeopardy in the aftermath of the state pulling the plug on the Manteca Redevelopment Agency. Altogether there are 337 public off-street parking spaces in downtown either owned or leased by the city or the successor agency to the redevelopment agency. The successor agency is in place until the debts and obligations of the Manteca Redevelopment Agency have been satisfied.

“The loss of public parking spaces is one of the unintended consequences that happened when the state dissolved redevelopment agencies ,” noted Manteca Economic Development Specialist Don Smail.

Forty percent of the 337 spaces are leased from private property owners under agreements initiated by the RDA but transferred now to the successor agency. Smail noted the city is working at identifying other money that could pay to lease the lots once the current agreements run out. Until the existing lease agreements expire, the successor agency is using tax dollars collected previously for RDA activities to pay the obligations.

The annual lease payment for the parking spaces is $9,768. The city leased lots for parking from landowners over the years through the RDA. In exchange for a relatively low annual lease payment, the RDA improved the lots ranging from paving to planting trees and agreed to provide the insurance and ongoing maintenance. Three such lots are in front of the FESM Hall in the 200 block of North Main Street, across from the MRPS Hall in the 100 block of North Grant Street, and the parking on the northwest corner of Grant and East Yosemite.

The lease for the Grant/East Yosemite parking lot is the first to expire. It lapses on Oct. 1. All existing leases will expire by the end of 2016.

Smail noted the sale of the South Grant parking lot is not imminent. It is being placed on a schedule of a plan for the required liquidation of all successor agency properties transferred to it from the now defunct RDA. He expects an eventual sale or transfer to state ownership will take place in the next two to three years.

A large portion of downtown Manteca is exempt from providing off-street parking. That exemption was designed to  encourage businesses to locate in the central district. Before the parking requirement was lifted, city rules essentially only allowed existing uses in buildings. That meant if someone wanted to convert a furniture store into a restaurant, they would have to provide adequate parking for the number of seats available just like a new free standing restaurant.

Smail also noted off-street parking would be needed if the city wanted to encourage private sector development that  made maximum use of lots and also was multi-story as is often see in downtowns.

If all of the parking arranged through the RDA is eliminated, there would still be 152 city-owned off-street parking spaces available primarily off alleys.