By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
2,852 homes built during past 8 years in Manteca
Manteca builders started 508 new single family homes in Manteca during the 12 months ending June 30. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

It took Escalon 164 years to reach its current population of 7,388.

Manteca that many new residents in the last eight years,

In the fiscal year ending June 30, Manteca built or started 508 new single family homes. That means since fiscal year 2008-2009 — the depth of the Great Recession triggered by the housing crisis — Manteca has added 2,852 additional single family home to generate 7,842 new residents.

The last eight fiscal years includes four years between 2008 and 2012 when Manteca on an annual basis built more new homes — including apartments  than the combined total of every other jurisdiction in the Northern San Joaquin Valley counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties.

The just completed fiscal year was the biggest for new home starts in 13 years in Manteca since 2003 when the city issued 745 permits.

Builders surveyed by the Bulletin show the market could be on track to challenge the growth cap era record 1,074 homes built in 2000 on an annual basis within the next one to three years.

The city is gearing up in part for the anticipated surge  by expanding Community Development staff positions by almost 50 percent going from 9 to 13 workers as well as adding one position  in the Building Safety Division to bring staff up to eight people.

Since staffing cutbacks were imposed in 2008 due to dropping revenues, Manteca has coped with increased construction activity by contracting with a private firm to augment municipals staff construction inspectors. In comparison to other cities in the 209, Manteca inspectors in recent years have handled more inspections per staff member than any other community.

The new staffing the council authorized in June includes two Construction Inspector I positions at $104,380 each for salary and benefits.

The city’s current Contactor Inspector II is struggling to keep up with demand. At the same time developers have bene pressing for Saturday inspections due to a significant pickup  in home sales and beholding starts. One of the new positions will allow for a smooth transition when current staff is expected to retire in the near future. The second position will also help avoid contracting for $150,000 for private sector inspectors through contracted services to keep inspections moving forward in a timely manner. As such, the move will save $46,000 a year. Given the way the Community Development Department has been designed by the city to ultimately stand as a department where fees cover the staffing needed to process growth-related applications, than means builders and ultimately homebuyers could avoid higher fees tied into contracted inspectors.

A development service technician is being added at a cost of $105,790 a year. In the budget council adopted in June by the council, staff noted building permit processing is taking longer to complete due to the high volume of work. That has meant what should take 10 days are now requiring almost 20 days to finish. This is causing delays for all sorts of projects which in turn put builders and developer behind schedule.

The improved housing market is also taxing the assistant city engineer. At the same time, the retirement of the community development director is also impacting the review process. Frederic Clark — an engineer by trade and training — has been helping move engineering related work through the Community Development Department. Turnaround time is currently between 10 to 16 weeks per project when it should 4 to 6 weeks. The assistant engineering position will cost $130,635 between salary and benefits.

Also in the mix is the creation of an assistant planner position to augment a planning manager, two senior planners and an associate planner.

The assistant planner position will cost the city $56,955 to fill and will start in January.

The additional position will basically allow a senior planner to devote the time needed to update the general plan as well as zoning uniformity. General plans are essentially blueprints for a community’s growth mandated by the state. The update is expected to take at least 24 months.