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There are 71,000-plus Manteca residents today
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Sometime during 2012 Manteca’s 71,000th resident either was born or moved here.

Manteca for the past three years has been tagged as the fastest growing city in San Joaquin County by the state Department of Finance. That’s by virtue of the fact more new housing units have been built and sold in Manteca in 2009, 2010 and 2011 than the rest of the county combined.

Manteca started 2012 with 69,815 residents. That was up 2.3 percent from the 2011 population of 68,265. The next fasted growing city was Lathrop with a 1.7 percent gain to 18,908 residents followed in third place by Ripon with a 1.2 percent jump to 14,535. Stockton gained 1.0 percent to reach 295,707 while Tracy (83,900), Lodi (62,825), and Escalon (7,206) all grew 0.8 percent from 2011 to 2012 according to the Department of Finance.

If Manteca repeated the 2011 rate of growth of 2.3 percent last year Manteca would have added 1,606 residents. That would make the population today 71,521. If the growth rate slipped to 2.0 percent, there would be 71,211 Manteca residents today.

Manteca’s general plan adopted in 2003 - a planning document that serves as a blueprint for growth - projected there would be 81,868 residents at the start of 2013. That was based on a 3.9 percent growth rate. City planners determined that was a reasonable level given the city grew by 4.5 percent from 2000 to 2007. Manteca will end up being 10,000 residents off that projection thanks in a large part to the foreclosure crisis triggered by shaky loans that were being used to keep growing the housing bubble.

A municipal service review in June 2008 determined there was land within the city limits that could yield housing to accommodate 36,774 people. The city’s population in 2008 was 65,076. Land subsequently was annexed such as the Austin Road Business Park that has a large residential component that could house an estimated 10,020 more people. That is in addition to the land within the city’s sphere of influence but not yet annexed. If all of the land developed that’s now either part of the city or identified as a logical annexation, the city could add 101,570 more residents.

That is if all of the land identified is developed using current planning densities for dwelling units.

Manteca was slowest growing city from 2000 to 2007

Manteca’s distinction of having the longest standing growth management program in the Northern San Joaquin Valley made it the slowest growing city in the South County from 2000 to 2007.

The population in Manteca grew 32 percent from 49,255 residents in 2000 to 65,076 residents in 2007.

During the same time period:

• Ripon grew 43 percent.

• Lathrop grew 41 percent.

• Tracy grew 58 percent.

The cities of Ripon and Tracy have put in place their own growth management programs during the past decade that has helped slow down residential building. Both cities put growth management strategies in place for the same reason Manteca did in 1986 — concerns about city services being overwhelmed by growing too fast.

 San Joaquin County grew 21 percent during the same time frame while California’s population increased 11 percent.

Manteca surpassed Lodi in the past decade as San Joaquin County’s third largest city after Stockton and Tracy.

Manteca’s demographics shifted during the eight-year period. There was an increase in residents 65 and older. The number of residents of Hispanic or Latino origin jumped 12 percent while the average household went from 2.98 to 3.05 people. The number of household units jumped from 16,937 in 2000 to 21,910 in 2007. All but 246 of those 4,728 new housing units were single-family homes. There were 245 more multi-family units — duplexes, triplexes and apartment units added — plus one mobile home.

City planners projected in the general plan that under Manteca’s 3.9 percent growth cap based on the issuance of residential sewer allocation combined with market pressures, Manteca will have a population of:

• 81,868 in 2013.

• 99,126 in 2018.

• 120,024 in 2023.

• 145,327 in 2028.

Ordinance No. 800 that established the growth management policy restricts the number of allocations that can be issued in a given year to 3.9 percent of the housing units in place on Dec. 31 of the previous year. It doesn’t, however, prevent the allocations from being rolled over into a subsequent year.

As a result, Manteca’s population grew in excess of 8 percent at the start of the 21st century because of the lagging housing sector in previous years allowed developers to pile up sewer allocations.

That is why there’s an expectation when the housing market starts to recover again that at some point housing construction will exceed 3.9 percent, as builders will be able to respond to demand.