Those crafty, sneaky, and sinister developers.
They’re responsible for everything bad in Manteca — crime, traffic, the drought, blight, high housing prices, the city not having a new library, and Manteca not having enough good paying jobs. Heck, they probably even have something to do with the spread of Ebola.
They’ve got the entire City Council in their back pocket which explains why they have to fork over a couple hundred thousand dollars in fees every time they just submit plans for a subdivision and then shell out another $45,000 plus per house before they can build.
So what have the evil developers done lately?
They had the audacity to take the shuttered Spreckels Sugar refinery where upwards of 200 people lost their jobs, risked their capital cleaning it up, and then developed it to create 2,000 plus jobs including many at Ford’s distribution center that pay in excess of $60,000 a year. How dare they!
They were the ones that bankrolled the start of such hideous things as the Manteca Boys and Girls Club, Raymus House for homeless single moms and their kids, Give Every Child a Chance, and others such drags on the community.
They sold the city 52 acres for $1 that was turned into the unless piece of real estate known as Woodward Park. They then added insult to injury by paying full freight for park development fees even insisting they almost be tripled because the city wasn’t collecting enough to develop the park. What crooks!
They built houses that people actually wanted to buy so they could raise families. They developed neighborhood parks. They even paid around $5,000 per home to pay for school facilities. It’s all useless stuff.
Developers are responsible for making it possible for Bass Pro Shops to build here as well as JC Penney and the Stadium Retail Center. They even have a big hand in luring Del Webb at Woodbridge with the hundreds of residents who have shared their wealth and time with the less fortunate in the community plus help mentor struggling kids. Who needs any of that?
They introduced landscaped sound walls and other landscaping enhancements even though the city initially resisted. Who wants the community to look nice? Barren walls, asphalt and no greenery are fine, thank you.
Developers have the audacity to keep building homes during a drought. The people buying the homes could very well just live out in the open given its not raining. Besides, everyone knows that until you build a home the people who move into it don’t ever use water.
And they even were greedy enough to come up with the idea of giving the city money with no strings attached — more than $45 million to date — that they weren’t legally required to do so.
The bonus bucks just benefitted the developers, right? No one was helped by the fact the city used almost $12 million to plug holes in general fund budgets so that taxes didn’t need to be increased or services cut between 2001 and 2007. And when the Great Recession started drying up other money, the city applied the useless development community’s bonus bucks to avoid cutting city jobs and in turn service levels severely.
Yes, bonus bucks did guarantee sewer allocation and avoid a suing frenzy between developers back in 1999 when they were 13 players at the table wanting to build three times as many homes as there were sewer allocations in a given year.
But a funny thing happened. Within three years given the projects that were going forward, the sewer allocation cap wasn’t even close to being reached as it did in 1999.
The developers, as greedy as ever, just kept signing new development agreements and tossing in more bonus bucks.
Some got so greedy they added additional bonus bucks specifically for a public safety endowment fund. It was just wasted, though. Manteca used it to pay for the salaries of a four-man Manteca Police crime unit plus enable the city to build the fire station on Lathrop Road. Neither expenditure was needed, right?
And how dare developers contribute money to council candidates.
That makes them no better than farmers, truck drivers, small businessmen, retired educators, and your neighbors that do the same.
Manteca indeed would be better off without developers.
With no new homes, that means Manteca would still be around 5,000 residents as it was in the early 1960s.
They’d be no Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart. East Union and Sierra high schools wouldn’t be needed. The city could have only five parks — with one being a half acre, one being a city block, one being the size of two lots and the other the size of one lot.
Downtown would still be the city’s retail center complete with seven bars although given how times have changed most of the bars would probably be boarded up.
They’d be perhaps only a couple of fast food restaurants to complain about and maybe a couple of other dining options.
Manteca wouldn’t have Woodward Park, Library Park as it is today, a BMX track, a skate park, Northgate Park, Big League Dreams or even a golf course.
Where the 18 holes are today would probably still be the municipal wastewater treatment plant while where the clubhouse now stands would likely just be the abandoned city dump.
And, yes, we’d still complain about traffic as the 120 Bypass likely wouldn’t have been built forcing all the Sierra bound traffic down Yosemite Avenue.
Curse developers. They really messed up Manteca.
This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 209.249.3519.