To say that Park Street in Lathrop is blighted would be an understatement.
There was a time when roads were almost nonexistent, abandoned properties were plentiful and at least one home that was red-tagged because it was safe for inhabitation was torched despite the fact that nobody lived inside.
That’s where Roger Hartley comes in.
On Monday the Lathrop resident spoke to the council informing them that he would like to turn one of the parcels in the area into a long-term boat and RV Storage Yard that would bring much needed commerce and a dash of redevelopment into an area that has been giving the city headaches for decades.
At more than 100 years old and with roots dating back to the Union Pacific Railroad Company – which still maintains a healthy portion of right-of-way in the region which makes things somewhat difficult from a planning perspective – Lathrop has spent the last 30 years trying to improve the area.
But when Hartley came to the city with his plan, which also included a towing yard that he says would increase police presence in the area fourfold, which would be a benefit to thwarting any crime that may be existing in the area already, he was told that there were paperwork issues that needed to be addressed before he could move forward with his plan.
So now he has consulted with a lawyer that he hopes will help him get through some of the legalese that will allow him to move forward.
Lathrop city staffers didn’t comment on the case specifically, but Mayor Sonny Dhalwial told Hartley that he needs to sit down with City Manager Steve Salvatore and come up with a plan that would benefit not only his own business interests, but the city as well. Hartley said that he has already met with City Engineer Glen Gebhardt and is planning on moving forward with his goals despite the recent roadblock – noting that the need for RV and boat storage will likely increase as Lathrop continues its push for development and new homes start cropping up in subdivisions.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.