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City blesses plan to allow business park near Lathrop High
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There could be new light industrial properties coming to Lathrop in the future thanks to a zoning change in the general plan update that was approved by the Lathrop City Council this week.

But given the proximity of the 625-acre parcel that was rezoned to Lathrop High School, the council took special provisions that they hope will allow for the land use and the school to coexist peacefully adjacent to one another.

According to the language that was adopted by the council on Monday, trucks accessing light industrial properties constructed on the 625-acre parcel located between Dos Reis and De Lima Road will be barred from using Dos Reis Road as an access point – as codified in the update to the Central Lathrop Specific Plan that was approved 4-1 by the council – as well as Golden Valley Parkway south of Dos Reis Road.

The council also added new language to the CLSP that will require any new development proposed for the area north of Dos Reis Road and south of De Lima Road – which was rezoned – to receive a conditional use permit by the council on a case-by-case basis.

Councilwoman Minnie Diallo cast the lone dissenting vote on the general plan update which included the new language.

Monday’s decision marks the first time that the city’s general plan – the blueprint that guides growth and development of a city – has been updated since it was implemented during the city’s incorporation more than three decades ago.

While the document helps guide decisions made by elected officials over an extended period of time and lays out the city’s priorities as it looks towards the future, it was the rezoning of the 625-acre parcel behind Lathrop High School that drew the most concern from the public – and even a letter from the Manteca Unified School District that was included with the materials distributed to the council prior to Monday’s meeting.

The letter, authored by Manteca Unified Chief Business and Information Officer Victoria Brunn, questioned the compatibility of the new land use designation considering that it was directly abutting an existing school cite – noting that concerns about student safety prompt a closer look at a possible reexamination of the proposal.

“Student health and safety and the separation of land uses based on sensitive receptors, traffic, and noise are all factors that should be more carefully analyzed,” Brunn’s letter stated. “The city, at minimum, should coordinate with Manteca Unified School District on establishing appropriate buffers between school sites and non-residential land uses.”

The City of Manteca also wrote the council and voiced concerns about the potential for increased light industrial buildings along the city’s eastern edge that would be made possible by the general plan update – noting that things like pollution from trucks don’t respect manmade boundaries and the impacts of expanding those uses so close to City of Manteca’s border could lead to adverse impacts for Manteca residents that never had a say in the planning process.

The company that was tasked with updating Lathrop’s general plan – the El Dorado hills based De Novo Planning Group – has been holding public workshops on the proposed changes for over a year and the draft proposal was intended to reflect the input from the wider community about the desired direction of the city as it moves into a new period of unprecedented growth.

To contact Bulletin reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.