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Push for transfer station to be in future Manteca growth plans

The Lovelace Materials Recovery Facility and Transfer Station a mile north of Del Webb at Woodbridge between Airport Way and Union Road currently is in the sphere of influence for the City of Stockton.

The City of Manteca’s Economic Development Committee Wednesday discussed the possibilities of this area north of Roth Road as “significant development as an urban reserve,” said committee member and Mayor Steve DeBrum.

The transfer station was part of the Future Land Use Strategy report provided by Economic Development Manager Don Smail.

The transfer station is part of the Expand Northern sphere of influence for Manteca. With Union Pacific’s Intermodal Station expansion and modernization plan, he noted that Area 2 – as listed in the Future Land Use Strategy – could expand the industrial area along French Camp Road.

Future Land Use Strategy also included locking up the Properly Zone Northern Land Area for development along with a spine road for industrial traffic, tying logically to Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) routes for large trucks.

Manteca along with Caltrans, San Joaquin County and the surrounding cities are working to coordinate, designate, develop and promote STAA truck routes to the local interstates and highways, according to Smail.

He also suggested that the City investigate the construction of underpasses for trains, using grade separators in the middle of town to help move motorists and those hauling goods.

“The City of Manteca has 11 or 12 rail crossings and no separators. There are two in Lathrop (along Lathrop Road),” said Smail, who noted that the length of train cars will more than likely grow once the expansion of the intermodal faclity is complete.

The Future Land Use Subcommittee met from July 18 to Sept. 17 to conduct a review of locations within the city limits coupled with the sphere of influence for the General Plan on land-use designation and zoning to meet the needs of the growing community.

They covered housing – Manteca has over 8,000 entitled lots that are zoned for housing within city limits, with the current rate of production being about 650 units per year and adequate for the next 10 to 15 years.

The Subcommittee, however, agreed that consideration should be given regarding future land use for housing development beyond that 15-year horizon.

The group found a need for more affordable housing, mentioning both rental and owner occupied to condominiums to townhouses.

Manteca currently has adequate land and buildings available for commercial development. The Subcommittee was concerned about the vacant commercial spaces at the Promenade Shops / Bass Pro Shopping Center but noted the new opportunity for adjacent development at Union Crossing – in particular, the recent commitment of Living Spaces’ 130,000 square feet furniture store on the new extension on Atherton Road – and the development taking place on Daniels Street just east of Airport Way and abutting the Highway 120 Bypass.

This was the 9-acre parcel identified as an office building complex similar to that of the AG Spanos Co. building in north Stockton near Eight Mile Road.

Plans for Austin Road Business Park in the southeast area of town are still uncertain.

Smail indicated that area is listed as “industrial prospect” on the master plan.

In the event the area is used for housing, DeBrum hopes it will part within the Manteca Unified School District rather than Ripon Unified.

The Economic Development Committee accepted the Future Land Use Strategy report and forwarded plans of adjusting Manteca’s Northern sphere of influence (north of Roth Road and the transfer station) along with the railroad grade separators to City Council.