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Lathrop hires help to check building plans
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LATHROP – It’s not as simple as looking at a picture and giving it the thumbs up.

Especially when you’re talking about the location of sewer mains, electrical conduit, roadways, lot-lines and just about everything else that come with turning a massive parcel into a fully-functioning residential neighborhood.

And as the City of Lathrop gears up for another building boom that will finally bring more rooftops in an area of town known as Central Lathrop, they’ve got to get their “double checkers” ready as well – engineers that are going to be able to look over submitted plans and ensure that everything on paper is up to code and being constructed in accordance with the agreement that the developer has with the city.

It’s not cheap. Last week the City Council approved a contract with CSG Consultants for up to $250,000 that will allow for the construction schedule and deadlines for the Stanford Crossing development to remain intact. The city will recuperate all of that money through the cost of the plan checks, which will need to be paid for by the developer prior to any construction actually taking place.

The Stanford Crossings project will be broken up into five individual subdivisions, and will include plans for frontage roads, signals, and recycled water improvements.

A large portion of the area that has come to be known as Central Lathrop was originally slated to be built by Richland Planned Communities, and the resulting fallout that stemmed from that project blowing up resulted in lawsuits and back-and-forth wrangling that took more than a year in court to rectify.

Now things are moving forward in the area once again.

Lathrop will partner with CSG Consultants to provide the plan check services in lieu of expanding the city staff on short notice. It is proof that the building industry that was once vibrant in the community that is split by Interstate 5 and provides through access to Highway 99 is making a rebound once again.

Former Lathrop Community Development Director Glen Gebhardt switched roles recently at City Hall to assume the City Engineer’s position. He’ll play a larger role moving forward with the mapping of subdivisions and their master placement with the community.

Community Development Director Rebecca Willis said that there are more than two dozen homes – besides those being constructed at River Islands – that are in various stages of construction at the current moment.

The development fees for projects like those – and the plan check fees – will cover the cost of CSG Consultants.

Last week Lathrop also introduced a contractor that will stand in as the Public Works Director after Joseph Reyes left last month to pursue employment with another agency. Gebhardt sat in as the City Manager as Steve Salvatore was absent, and came to introduce Patrick Flynn who will step in to handle that workload in the interim.