Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The following is a letter sent to the General Plan Advisory Committee,
California law defines Environmental Justice as:
“The fair treatment of people of all races, cultures and income with respect to development, adoption,
implementation, and enforcement of all environmental laws, regulations and policies.”
Thank for the opportunity to address a subject very dear to my heart. I purchased my property in February of 1973. At that time it was located on a 40-foot country road. A perfect area to start and raise my family surrounded farm animals, corn fields and grape vineyards.
In a matter of 15 years, I and my neighbors were forced to file a la suit against the City of Manteca concerning their lack of Environmental Migration to a proposed development related to traffic concerns in our area. It was a long and very expensive process but we prevailed and won our rights to be protected in the California Court of Appeals.
We attended public meeting at the last General Plan Updated in 2001. We wanted to impress to the City that the General Plan must ensure our homes were deserving the same protections guaranteed to any new home built, for example, migrations for impacts related to increase traffic, flooding, noise, vibrations, emissions and safety. Also with proper planning and developers’ cooperation, these goals could be meet.
So let us jump to 2019. I find myself before you again. My concerns about the safety of my neighbors have not faulted. Yes you may say this is the price of growth and progress but we are entitled to be protected. The properties that you impact with your planning decisions are not just mere houses in the way of progress but where real people and their families live. You must include language in the new update that provide sound walls and separate frontage roads adjacent to arterial streets to protect the longtime residents. A perfect example of this type of mitigation can be found at the corner of Louise Ave. and Airport Way. Before the projects were approved across the street the alignment of Louise was changed to protect the residents on the north side.
The language in the General Plan must be clear and precise to address migration requirements prior to approval of a new development. Piecemeal solutions to minimize impacts with Negative Declaration is just kicking the can down the road.
Although Circulation Policy #16 in the current General Plan was a start in the right direction, it in fact has be ignored for years.
Proper planning with a strong Circulation Policy in your General Plan will protect the current residents on Lathrop Road, Union Road, Airport Way, Woodward Avenue, Austin Road and countless others. If you choose not to include these provisions and only focus on the new developments policies your decisions will not be in the best interest of the residents’ safety and the Manteca taxpayers dollars need to acquire the properties at a later date.
We are requesting that all current properties abutting existing and proposed arterial streets be included as a disadvantage area in the general plan update.