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Go west, Manteca, go west?
City facing big growth decisions west of Airport Way
Land between Airport Way and the anticipated extension of Milo Candini Drive at the northern end of Big League Dreams to Yosemite Avenue could be designated for future employment center development. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Manteca west of Airport Way is shaping up as ground zero for four major city land use decisions in the near future.

And what city leaders eventually decide will have long-range impacts on everything from farming and flood control to job generation and municipal revenue.

The general plan update being undertaken over the next nine months will include:

•Addressing southwest Manteca and what steps, if any, Manteca should take on flood control. Not purchasing dry or cross levees to protect thousands of acres in the city’s sphere of influence - areas identified for possible annexation - would mean they could not be urbanized under state law.

•The possible creation of a Westside Employment Corridor. With CenterPoint ready to move ahead with its potential for 600 permanent jobs at distribution centers closely tied to rail-truck transfers, the question remains with what else could happen to the Airport Way corridor. Before the plug was pulled on redevelopment agencies, the city was pursuing a plan to buy up parcels along Airport Way south of Yosemite Avenue to cobble together for a possible business park.

•Deciding whether to proceed with a family entertainment zone on 140 city owned acres adjacent to Big League Dreams and the proposed Great Wolf Resort. The resort alone has been identified as creating a conservative $4 million a year in room taxes for city coffers plus 414 permanent jobs and 156 part-time jobs with a projected annual payroll of $9.4 million.

•Identifying the preferred corridor for the southern extension of McKinley Avenue as it swings eastward to connect with a new subdivision along Highway 99 between Ripon and Manteca. The exact location of the alignment has big consequences as it in all likelihood it will eventually trigger urbanization and reduce the viability of farming. The road, though, can’t be built in certain proposed alignments that are farthest to the south unless flooding issues are addressed.

The four areas are major elements of the coming general plan update. The state mandated general plan is used as the blueprint for growth. It dictates land use, major road development, and what areas are most likely to be developed over the next 10 to 20 years.

Community Development Director Frederic Clark recapped the big land use issues for the City Council during a workshop last month.