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Manteca says Lathrop plan unrealistic for traffic impacts
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LATHROP – A business development along McKinley Avenue north of the 120 Bypass that’s larger than Spreckels Park has raised the ire of Manteca officials who contend the environmental impact report is unrealistic when it comes to traffic cleared its first hurdle Monday night.

After hearing from staff, the developer and adjacent landowners with concerns and after recognizing letters from the City of Manteca and Ripon attorney Tom Terpstra objecting to the final environmental impact report, the council voted unanimously advance the project.

The 383.9-acre project which lines up against the Highway 120 Bypass east of Lathrop Business Park and Interstate 5 – will include almost 167 acres of limited industrial space, 83 acres of service commercial space, and just under 57 acres of commercial office space.

But not everybody is happy with the idea.

According to City of Manteca interim community development director Frederic Clark, a handful of problems regarding the EIR that center around transportation issues are evident. Therefore, based on those shortcomings submitted in a lengthy letter, the document should be revised and recirculated due to its failure to meet certain guidelines.

Ripon attorney Tom Terpstra – who wrote in his letter to the council that he had been retained by individuals living and working in San Joaquin County – also pointed out what he perceived as an “incomplete and inadequate” environmental impact report.

Neither of those things bothered consultant Trevor Smith of Insight Environmental who said he believed that the city had undertaken an “adequate, complete and good faith effort towards full disclosure” when completing the EIR portion of the project. The process took almost two years.

Smith said he wasn’t exactly happy with what he read in Terpstra’s letter – dated May 13.

“I took semi-offense because I didn’t know who that guy was representing,” Specifically I didn’t know if he was a representative, a resident or just a guy from North Stockton who drive on the 5 that doesn’t want to see building over there.”

Just before the planning commission meeting last month the applicant, South Lathrop LLC, asked that no action be taken on the annexation request for economic reasons. At the same time, there is an agreement in place that ensures that non-applicant property owners with the Lathrop Gateway Business Park specific plan area are not imposed a service fee until such time in the future that they choose to develop their property.

David Lazares of the Los Gatos-based Lazares Companies represented the applicants and said that with Monday’s decision the developers will be able to start looking for either tenants or a major developer that would take over the project before considering submitting an application to LAFCo for annexation consideration.