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MUSD questions wisdom of city allowing 99 additional homes

Manteca Unified School District is aggressively questioning the wisdom of the city approving a proposed 99-home subdivision on Airport Way immediately west of the municipal golf course.

The school district is making it clear if developers won’t step up to help pay to build permanent classroom for the 71 students that the Yosemite Greens project is expected to generate that students from the neighborhood will be housed in portable classrooms.

 Beyond that they have delineated a long list of issues ranging from increased greenhouse gases to increased traffic that the school district contends the city is not having the developer mitigate.

The district has listed 20 concerns that not only has the city responded to but Manteca Unified has made written rebuttals to all of the city’s subsequent comments.

Essentially the school district is making a case that a mitigated negative declaration for the project is inappropriate and a more robust full-scale environmental review that has a significant cost is legally required.

When it comes to schools, the district notes that providing needed classrooms costs the district $13.40 per square foot for single family residential homes. The district, by state law, can only collect a maximum of $3.79 per square foot. That accounts for only 28 percent of the costs for adequate classrooms.

That means the developer of Yosemite Greens would be obligated to pay only $873,864 in school fees placing a $2,369,816 shortfall into the lap of the school district.

The district points out that the studies submitted to the city in support of the project contend the payment of developer fees is “a full and complete mitigation for school construction” for the 99 homes is simply not true based on the $2.3 million shortfall.

Unlike other developers in Manteca that have stepped up to place the homes they are building in a Mello-Roos district to help generate funds needed for school construction to help bridge the shortfall, the firm that will profit from the ultimate sale of the 99 homes is refusing to agree to having the homes placed in existing Mello-Roos districts.

The home buyer and subsequent owners pay the Mello-Roos fee and not the developer.

What happens is the homes without a Mello-Roos obligation aren’t sold for less in a robust housing market.  The end result is the buyers of new homes in Yosemite Greens would be paying less for the impacts they are creating on Manteca than other new home buyers.

By not stepping up and agreeing to the Mello Roos district the developer has pushed Manteca Unified into a strategy that could give the fledging Environmental Justice movement traction in Manteca.

The district’s 20-point list of concern that takes the city to task for everything from converting prime farmland to what it characterizes as an inadequate addressing of how much energy the 99 homes will consume.

 The Yosemite Greens neighborhood is being proposed for 13.2 acres on what remains of the old Crom dairy.

It will have 8.15 units per acre as opposed to a traditional single family neighborhood of five units per acre.

A typical lot at Yosemite Greens will be 43 by 75 feet or 3,225 square feet overall. That is roughly the size of the smallest lot in traditional single family home subdivision now being built in Manteca.

The last significant medium density neighborhood built in Manteca was the Golf Villas that border the eastern edge of the golf course where the driving range is located. The Golf Villas are on the southwest corner of Union Road and Crom Street.

The neighborhood will be accessed from both Airport Way and Crom Street.

To  contact Dennis Wyatt, email