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Manteca city planners OK housing plan update
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The three-year long process to update the City of Manteca’s General Plan Housing Element is only a City Council vote away from being finalized.

Tuesday night the Manteca Planning Commission unanimously voted to approve a resolution recommending that the City Council adopt a general plan amendment approving the 2009 housing element update and the associated initial study and negative declaration citing adequate environmental documentation for the project.

If approved, it would be the first update to the state-mandated municipal housing strategy since 2003.

The housing element – one of the seven mandated of the local general plan – requires that all local governments adequately plan to meet the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of a given community, and pays special attention to the affordable housing needs of local residents.

But according to City Planner Mark Messiner, the document basically is intended to outline the needs in the community which have been exacerbated by the foreclosure crisis that was sparked by the sub-prime mortgage meltdown – sending housing values in the community plummeting to their lowest values in almost a decade.

While the document has been accepted by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, Messiner said that meeting the needs identified in the document isn’t an expectation of the state – especially among single-family home builders who don’t find it as a cost-effective way to proceed with their development.

“You usually don’t get your run-of-the-mill single-family developers that want to put those units in,” Messiner said. “It’s just not cost-effective for them.”

Recently, Bay Area-based non-profits have led the charge in constructing affordable housing projects in Manteca – focusing almost specifically on age-restricted units like Almond Terrace near East Union High School and the under-construction units behind Burger King on North Main Street.