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Lathrop working to update blue- print for growth
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It’s been more than 25 years since Lathrop became a city.
And while the City of Lathrop has undergone regular general plan amendments when proposed developments and planning proposals have called for it, the “blueprint for growth” that has guided the city to the verge of its largest population boom ever has never been fully updated.
Until now.
On Monday, the city officially kicked off the general plan update process with an informational session with De Novo Planning Group’s Principal Planner Ben Ritchie in which the entire process – which neighboring Manteca is currently going through with the same consultant – was spelled out and detailed in a presentation that outlined why such an undertaking is necessary and how it will benefit the city moving forward.
According to Ritchie, lots of legal changes addressing everything from climate change to flood protection have been implemented since Lathrop adopted its general plan in 1991, and while the city has done a good job of making amendments when necessary to allow growth to continue, the outdated map won’t serve the city’s interests as it welcomes an unprecedented period of growth that will drastically transform the dynamics of the community over the coming decades.
River Islands alone, for example, could end up adding an additional 30,000 residents once it’s completed. Prioritizing the city’s long-term goals and planning guidelines as it works through that process, Ritchie said, will prove to be tremendously important.
But even as the city prepares to enter a new age, those that played a part in ushering in the city’s first official day want to make sure that the city’s original voices are still contributing to the discussions about where Lathrop is going.
Former Lathrop Mayor Gloryanna Rhodes told the council that as one the 19 people that helped pass the initial general plan, she wanted to make sure that those original founders – those that are still living and living in the area – get the opportunity to offer their input as Lathrop deals with issues of growth and expansion that have never been seen before.
Manteca, which is also using the De Novo Planning Group for their general plan update, is utilizing a steering committee comprised of various community interests ranging from the school district to development and agriculture – creating a cross-section to offer varied input and spur discussion.
Ritchie said that the firm will begin a “listening” tour to get a feel for the City of Lathrop, it’s goals and ambitions, and its history before making any recommended changes outside of legally-mandated inclusions.
The informational item, which was on the agenda, did not require any council action.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.