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Bond deal will allow Lathrop new homes to start construction

It was set to become a massive residential housing tract that would have been home to thousands of families.

But the economic collapse of a decade ago brought the Richland Planned Communities project known as the Central Lathrop Specific Plan to a grinding halt and left a $50 million bond outstanding that has been accruing interest ever since.

Not anymore.

On Monday night the City of Lathrop took a number of steps – including the execution of an election to create two new community facilities districts – that will make good on the bonds that were originally issued for the property in question back in 2006 and will allow the new developer, Saybrook CLSP Inc., to inch even closer to building single family lots on the acreage that surrounds the Lathrop Generations Center that has been sitting relatively untouched.

With the assistance of a lawyer that specializes in municipal bonds, Lathrop City Attorney Salvador Navarrete walked the Lathrop City Council through a complicated process that included revealing the results of earlier voting by controlling landowners – one, in this case – and taking official action certifying the creation of the two new CFDs that will satisfy the outstanding ones.

Initially Richland was authorized to bond up to $200 million to construct the massive development, but executed only $50 million worth of that option – very little of which was actually paid back. Heading into Monday’s meeting, one of the two new CFDs will cover approximately $48,500,000 of outstanding debt while the other will cover approximately $26,000,000 – ending the process of getting the property in question out from underneath the massive overhead.

It will ultimately be the new property owners that will cover the cost once the lots are developed.

The steps taken by the Lathrop City Council on Monday will now mean that Saybrook can move forward with longstanding plans of developing the majority of the property that was initially part of the Richland Development – albeit with some alterations.

With Spartan Way serving as somewhat of a boundary, the majority of the property to the north will now be free from the debt obligations of the original bond even though they are not being included in the new development. To the south, behind and around the Lathrop Generations Center.

The council voted unanimously – with Councilman Steve Dresser absent – on all six motions before them, as well as the resolutions that came after the formation of the new CFDs.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.