Manteca Councilman Gary Singh has a suggestion that might score brownie points for the developers of the 99-home Yosemite Greens subdivision — fund a new school bus for the Manteca Unified School District that runs on compressed liquefied gas.
And to sweeten the deal Singh said he’d be willing to explore the possibility of the City of Manteca providing the fuel at no charge from the wastewater treatment plant’s food waste to fuel facility as a demonstration project.
Yosemite Greens is being slammed for not having its future homeowners contribute toward building school facilities to handle student growth the proposed neighborhood on the southeast corner of Airport Way and Crom Street will generate. They also are being forced to address issues associated with high school students from their project that will attend Sierra High. Offering to buy a school bus — that someone could likely backfill their cost through California’s greenhouse gas credit program — might be a solid goodwill gesture.
The district does not provide bussing for high school students that live within 2.5 miles of a campus. And while some believe all high school students can get rides that is not the case based on a number of Sierra High students that currently travel on foot, skateboard, or bicycle from south of the 120 Bypass to reach Sierra High.
Singh noted the city is working on addressing that concern with the rollout of a fourth Manteca Transit route that is designed to serve students south of the 120 Bypass that need to travel to and from Sierra High.
The issue with Yosemite Greens for reaching Sierra High is the obvious route lacks sidewalks. It also requires walking along two heavily traveled major road corridors with fairly high speed traffic — Airport Way and Yosemite Avenue. The remaining leg is along narrow Fishback Road.
The school board, to make such a deal make sense, would have to carve out an exception for Yosemite Greens to allow them to ride a school bus until such time a Manteca Transit route could serve the neighborhood.
The district would have a great demo project and one that is educational as well.
Students throughout the district monitor fellow students as they separate food waste from regular trash. That has made what goes into the orange carts in MUSD cafeterias consistently the cleanest the city picks up for its food waste to fuel process that is now powering a number of city refuse collection trucks.
The bus could be alternated on various routes so school kids can see the end result of their efforts.
Singh said it is just a thought that might be worth exploring.
The councilman also believes it is in everybody’s best interest that if and when the city changes zoning for property across the street from Yosemite Greens that the buyers of homes should be provided with disclosure statements.
There is a proposal to drop a 1,014-unit housing project and to change the zoning to allow upwards of 5 million square feet of business park on the southwest corner of Louise Avenue and Airport Way. That will result in a significant spike of truck traffic on Airport Way.
Singh said buyers in Del Webb at Woodbridge were unaware that vacant land across Airport Way was being developed as a business park. And while buyers can check zoning of nearby property before they buy, Singh thinks it is wise in the case of major business parks that steps are made to make sure buyers know the score.
Unlike railroad tracks that are already in place, land zoned for business park can stay dormant for years after nearby new homes are built.
A disclosure requirement would help avoid a lot of animosity that was created with Del Webb residents who were caught off guard.
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