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Developers pay $17,808 per acre to protect farming
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The loss of farmland to build employment centers, retail and housing will cost developers $17,808 an acre.

That comes to $3,561 for a 6,000-square-foot residential lot given the typical yield of five homes per ace once streets are taken into account.

The fees for conversion of farmland to urbanized uses are part of the mandated San Joaquin County Multi-Species Habitat Conservation and Open Space Plan that’s been in place since 2001. The San Joaquin Council of Governments monitors the program.

It is designed to compensate for open space, farmland, vernal pools, and land in its natural state that is lost to development. The fees go to purchase and manage replacement land for open space, farming, and ecological systems such as vernal pools. The fees were set up to avoid potential litigation regarding the loss of farmland and habitat.

The Manteca City Council will consider adopting the fees based on current property values when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

Developers pass the fees on in the cost of homes.

The fees bring adopted are 14 percent higher than existing fees. They are:

u$17,808 per acre of farmland or land in its natural state that is developed.

u$8,905 for each acre of open space lost.

u$66,437 per acre of vernal pool grasslands converted for growth.

u$109,737 per acre of wetted vernal pools that are lost to development.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, e-mail