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Lathrop collects input on city housing needs

The City of Lathrop wants to make sure that residents in the city get the chance to express their wants and desires when it comes to the future of housing in the growing community. 

On Wednesday the city hosted a workshop as part of an extensive General Plan Update – the city’s first since it was adopted the year that the city was incorporated three decades ago – that focused on the types of housing needed in Lathrop, how to provide access to safe and affordable housing, and barriers to housing production or access. 

As one of the seven specific topics included in the general plan, housing has become somewhat of a hot button issue in the Northern San Joaquin Valley in recent years as the mass influx of Bay Area commuters that stalled during the economic downturn has returned with a vengeance.  Relatively low housing prices coupled with exorbitant housing prices in the Bay Area has driven up prices in the Central Valley and priced out many of the long-time local residents who can no longer afford to buy the homes that are being constructed. 

By opening up the conversation about housing to residents and focusing on the difficult issues that cities across the region are facing when it comes to providing housing for residents, the city hopes to make the housing element reflective of the city’s goals of making the general plan reflective of the community as a whole – prioritizing the city’s vision and goals when it comes to managing the unprecedent era of growth that the city is now experiencing.  

The City of Lathrop has contracted with the De Novo Planning Group, a firm that they used for specialty engineering work to make the Pilot/Flying J Truck Stop a reality, to execute the seven components of the general plan and essentially create a from-scratch document that reflects the city’s past, it’s current goals, and it’s hope for the future. 

De Novo is the same firm that was hired by the City of Manteca to execute its general plan update. The company used similar methods to reach out to the community and get resident participation to ensure that the document reflects the desires of the people it is intended to serve. 

While it only covers seven specific topics – land use, housing, circulation, conservation, open space, noise and safety – guidelines from the State of California on more current topics such as climate change and the 200-year flood protection effort exist to bolster the document to cover all aspects of future growth and development and help create a document that steers mitigation efforts when required. 

The cost of the General Plan Update itself is $794,315 with a 15 percent contingency of $119,147 not to be used with the written permission of the City Manager.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.