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Lathrop may reduce size of CFD bonds for Saybook project
Paying for Lathrop growth

When the Lathrop City Council voted to create a series of new community facilities districts in Central Lathrop in order to get out from underneath the delinquent $50 million bond that had been issued more than a decade ago, it represented the turning of a page.

While the area that will be covered by the city’s two newest CFDs – special tax districts that will pay for essential services necessary for those areas and the city as a whole – was at one time supposed to be home to thousands of new homes around what is now Lathrop High School, the economic downturn ground development progress to a halt and left existing plans abandoned.

The ensuring fallout – which included leaving Lathrop High School cut off from the city’s existing sewer system – led to a legal battle between the developer, Richland Planned Communities, the city, which had authorized the creation of the initial $50 million bond, and the contractor and subcontractors who had already completed some of the work necessary for development but were never paid for their services.

Ultimately the matter was settled with the bond companies covering the City of Lathrop’s share of the agreement, but the land sat saddled with the weight of the bonds that ballooned over the decade to include almost $25 million more than was initially bonded for.

And now the City of Lathrop believes that the ceiling for the two new CFDs that were created, which will allow Saybook LLC to move forward with development on the property after an ongoing effort to acquire the parcels necessary to move forward with projects, may be a bit too high.

When the new Lathrop City Council comes back for their first meeting in 2019, they will consider a request by Saybrook to refinance the amounts of the bond at a lower amount than what was set in the documents of formation that were approved by the council back in November.

The consolidation of the existing parcels by the developer allowed for a unanimous vote for the issuance of the bonds, and so far, no homes have been constructed in any of the areas that will be taxed as part of the formation.

And only the land that was included in the recent CFD formation will be affected. Part of the request by the developer that was executed by the city included the separation of property that was part of the initial bond that was not acquired by the new developer and will therefore not be subject to the new taxation agreements.

The Lathrop City Council meets on the second Monday of the month at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Centre Drive – at 7 p.m. For additional information, or for a copy of the advance notice of the public hearing that will be discussed when the council next meets, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.