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Plan scraps 1,014 homes to attract 2,000 jobs

One seventh of the 7,000 plus residential units that are approved to be built in Manteca could be eliminated if a deal to covert the approved 229-acre Villa Ticino West neighborhood is completed.

The Manteca City Council Tuesday did not voice any opposition to a proposal by Scannell Properties to ditch 1,014 approved housing units on the southwest corner of Louise Avenue and Airport Way so a business park development could be built. Given that, City Manager Tim Ogden said staff will return to the council next month after hammering out a proposed memorandum of understanding with Scannell Properties to allow the conversion to take place.

The site is surrounded on three sides by land zoned industrial and backs up against the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

The plan is to seek zoning that would allow for warehouse and distribution, advanced manufacturing, business park, research and development, and light manufacturing.

Developers also want to make Airport Way from the 120 Bypass to Crom Street a STAA (Surface Transportation Assistance Act) route that would allow longer trucks than the state allows operating. Other states allow longer trucks that California must also allow to use freeway and highways within the state in accordance to federal law. The trucks can only legally use surface streets that have been designated for the longer trucks.

Proponents noted Tuesday using the 229 acres for a business park will lower traffic impacts on nearby neighborhoods, especially peak hour trips.

A preliminary traffic circulation plan would extend Swanson Road north from where it T-intersects with West Yosemite Avenue across from the municipal wastewater treatment plant to a point where it would have a 90-degree turn east to connect with a future extension of Crom Street. The Swanson-Crom alignment is roughly where the route of the city’s new $10 million North Manteca Sewer Trunk Line will go before it turns north up Airport Way to Lathrop Road and beyond. By avoiding going down Yosemite Avenue and Airport Way between Yosemite and Crom it will lower costs somewhat and significantly reduce disruption to traffic.

The project would involve upgrading Airport Way from Yosemite Avenue to Crom Street to STAA route standards as early as April 2020. That timeline is based on a development agreement being executed by April 2019 with construction of the first phase of buildings starting in October 2019 with their completion in July 2020.

The developers envision an extensive manicured “green buffer” along Louise Avenue to shield homes to the east from the development.

The project could generate 3,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs.

If the land isn’t developed for housing it would take some growth pressure off nearby Stella Brockman School.

Scannell recently completed a $16.7 million investment in a 286,072-square-foot spec building in Spreckels Park on a parcel that backs up to the northbound transition ramp to the westbound 120 Bypass.

Scannell, founded in 1991, has seven offices across the United States and Europe. This year alone they have constructed over 8 million square feet valued in excess of $1 billion.