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Theres 1,550 more Mantecans
Manteca tied as 10th fastest growing California city

Manteca was the 10th fastest growing city in California during 2011.

The State Department of Finance released estimates Tuesday that put Manteca’s population at 69,815 as of Jan. 1, 2012. That was a 2.3 percent increase tying it with Morgan Hill. The Santa Clara County city south of San Jose added 872 residents in 2011 while Manteca added 1,550.

Manteca was the fastest growing city in the Northern San Joaquin Valley that includes the counties of Merced, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus. Lathrop was the second fastest growing city in the three-county region tied with Hughson in San Joaquin County for a 1.7 percent gain. Lathrop added 409 residents to tally 18,908 at the start of 2012. Hughson has 6,977 residents.

Based on the 2011 growth rate of 130 new residents a month, Manteca probably hit 70,000 residents in mid-February.

Manteca, Lathrop, and Ripon were the three fastest growing cities in San Joaquin County. That added a combined population of 2,038 residents 2011. That was less than in Stockton that added 2,810 residents but grew only at a 1.0 percent annual rate.

Stockton was third highest statewide for numeric gains beaten only by Irvine that added 5,376 new residents and Chula Vista 3,395 new residents.

California’s population increased to 37,678,563 for a 0.7 annual growth rate.

Los Angeles remained the state’s largest city at 3,825,297 residents followed by San Diego at 1,321,315, and San Jose at 971,372.

“Manteca is doing a lot of things right when it comes to the quality of life,” Mayor Willie Weatherford noted.

The mayor also pointed out that “location, location, location” also played a big role in the city’s growth.

Weatherford cited Manteca’s relatively low crime rate and amenities such as 52 parks, schools, and such for drawing newcomers in a tough economy.

He pointed out the city has also worked to stay competitive with fees to help clear up the backlog of 970 buildable lots that existed four years ago as the mortgage meltdown crippled the housing industry.

Manteca for the past three years has topped the entire Northern San Joaquin Valley with new housing starts. The city’s 300 plus annual housing starts has been more that every other jurisdiction in the county combined.

Perhaps the biggest economic “lifesaver” when it comes to housing has been Del Webb at Woodbridge. The age-restricted community has been accounting for almost one out of every four housing permits issued in Manteca during the past three years. The economic demographics of the Del Webb community have prompted various business and medical services to expand in Manteca.

The mayor noted that several developers are getting ready to break ground on new subdivisions with Raymus Homes leading the way.

The increased numbers are more than just fodder for a chamber-style promotion. There are a number of state collected revenues such as the gas tax that is distributed on a per capita basis. And while the funding gain won’t be a lot, it will help the city when they cobble together the general fund budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2012.

That was part of the strategy the city had in mind when they lifted the bonus bucks - an extra charge per home for sewer permit certainty - almost four years ago to encourage developers to build and sell homes. The goal was to help save private sector jobs in the construction industry and related fields plus retail and service sectors that benefit from a larger customer base. At the same time the city was banking on more residents to be able to bring more money into the general fund in such a manner that they would not have to add manpower and to save municipal jobs beyond compensation cuts and layoffs.