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Manteca may grow by 1,332 acres
Two annexations up for approval on Friday
Palm Avenue – lined with palm trees between Austin Road and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks – is included in an annexation proposal up for approval on Friday. - photo by HIME ROMERO
More than two square acres – proposed for development aimed at generating a combined 15,000 jobs and housing for 10,800 people – could get the key approval Friday for annexation to the City of Manteca.

That is when the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission will consider city requests to annex the 1,032.4-acre Austin Road Business Park and the 300.3-acre Northwest Manteca region that includes the proposed CenterPoint project.

The LAFCO board meets at 10 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors chambers on the sixth floor of the courthouse in downtown Stockton at 44 N. San Joaquin St.

The most contentious issue is whether LAFCO will force the annexation of existing rural homes on the southern and eastern flanks of the Northwest Manteca proposal along Lathrop Road and Airport Way.

The majority of residents do not want to be annexed. The Manteca City Council has gone on record as not supporting their annexation. However, LAFCO staff required the city to move the proposal forward with the residential land included in a bid to comply with a LAFCO policy of not creating islands of unincorporated pockets when adding land to cities.

The final call is in the hands of the appointed LAFCO commissioners.

The Northwest Manteca annexation proposal encompasses 300.3 acres bound by Roth Road on the north, Airport Way on the east, Lathrop Road on the south, and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and intermodal facility on the west. It includes the proposed 273-acre Center Point distribution center project. Eighteen parcels are being proposed for annexation to Manteca.

CenterPoint Properties wants to turn empty fields into a teeming employment complex with 4 million square feet.

The project is different than most business parks as it has easy access to rail and is next door to the Union Pacific intermodal facility that loads and unloads truck trailers on flat beds for transportation via rail. It would have a direct crossing to the intermodal yard.

More and more cargo is being moved by a combination of train and truck making the location appealing for distribution centers.

It would create enough square feet to accommodate eight operations the size of the Manteca Ford Auto Parts Distribution Center in Spreckels Park. The space is also equivalent to 53 stores the size of Manteca’s Wal-Mart.

The CenterPoint annexation would create the northern most point in Manteca while the Austin Road Business Park annexation would create the southernmost point.

Austin Road consists of 1,032.4 acres that developers have tied up.

The impact of the project generally south of Highway 99 saddling Austin Road is so big it will:

•Possibly require a re-alignment of Highway 99.

•Generate 10, 200 residents or about a seventh of the existing population of Manteca.

•Convert 1,037 acres from farming and rural residential use to urban development.

•Impact Ripon Unified schools even bigger than Manteca Unified schools as most of the residential would be within Manteca city limits but within the Ripon Unified district. The number of students going to Ripon could easily exceed the current enrollment of Ripon High.

•The potential to create up to 13,000 jobs - or close to 50 percent of the existing jobs in the city.

•The residential alone represents the potential of creating $1.02 billion in today’s dollars.