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Commission cancels this month’s meeting
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It’ll be another month at least before the Lathrop Planning Commission meets to carry out its business.

The originally scheduled meeting of the body, which provides recommendations to the City Council about the physical development of the city as well as the implementation of the General Plan that serves as a blueprint for development, was set for today at 6 p.m. but has been cancelled – a common occurrence during the era of the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected the way that municipalities conduct business.

The five-member panel – which just welcomed a new member earlier this month when Tosh Ishihara was appointed to a term by the Lathrop City Council – has met only once since the shelter-in-place order was issued, and even that meeting was a teleconference in the pandemic’s early days in March. Meetings in April and May were both cancelled, as has been the case with the majority of the city’s non-essential public meetings as a way to protect both the public and the city staff needed to execute the meetings.

The last project approved by the planning commission in March paved the way for both a Sonic Drive-In and a Dutch Bros. Coffee establishment to open up near Lathrop Road at I-5 – just the latest restaurant offerings to come to the city as it continues its structured growth plan and grows into a full-sized California city.

That project generated significant interest as it was part of a wider expansion by Dutch Bros. Coffee – the Southern Oregon-based company that had made inroads into the Northern California and Bay Area markets – into the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

Lathrop is currently in the process of completely overhauling its existing general plan which hasn’t been updated since the city was first incorporated more than 30 years ago. At the time Lathrop officially became a city less than 7,000 residents called it home although it had nearly doubled in size over the previous 10 years. Since then the city has grown to a population of almost 25,000 residents, with thousands more expected to move into the city in coming years as large-scale developments at River Islands and Central Lathrop move through the development process.

As the city has grown and become a major hub of distribution centers thanks its proximity to I-5 and easy access to freeway of networks that connect Northern California, the Bay Area, and the wider Western United States – In-N-Out, for example, is famous for never freezing its burger patties and distributes them from its Lathrop warehouse to every Northern California restaurant and locations in Oregon – the need for a more detailed planning document that addresses the city’s future growth plans has become necessary.

That process is ongoing and is expected to continue throughout the rest of the year before it is formally completed and brought back for approval at various levels before being implemented by the Lathrop City Council.

For additional information about meetings and the respective agendas for each of them – and possible cancellations for already-scheduled meetings – visit the City of Lathrop’s website at  

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.