Manteca’s city leaders are laying the groundwork for the equivalent of 20 more distribution centers the size of the 746,790-square-foot Amazon Fulfillment Center that opened last year on Airport Way where it T-intersects with Lovelace Road.

That also would come with the need for truck traffic to move goods and vehicle traffic for 24/7 shift work.

Overall the preferred land use option for the general plan update designed to guide Manteca growth for the next 20 years has the ability to add 14,744,330 square feet of industrial uses to the 4,438,868 square feet that currently exist. That means a build out of the industrial square footage in Manteca that will about quadruple to 19,183,218 square feet.

The industrial designation means more uses would be allowed besides basic distribution. It can include trucking terminals, warehouses, manufacturing, assembling and processing. The land use also calls for a more than quadrupling of current office space from 1,114,694 square feet to 4,968,324 square feet.

Commercial space — based on pre-pandemic brick and mortar retailing assumptions — could more than triple going from the existing 3,052,187 square feet that includes at least 600,000 square feet between the shuttered Kmart and Orchard Supply Hardware along with empty inline space at Orchard Valley alone — to 11,116,182 square feet at buildout.

 The marching orders the Manteca City Council gave several years ago as the preferred land use option for the general plan was being assembled was clear — make it possible for Manteca to have more job growth.

Based on the BAU Urban Economics financial analysis of the preferred general plan update land use, the industrial office and commercial growth would generate 29,192 more jobs within Manteca’s city limits. When added to the existing 8,772 jobs that would mean at build out that is estimated to be on a 20 to 40 year horizon, there could be 37,610 jobs in Manteca.

When compared to the build out number for city residents of 206,368 there would be one job within the city limits for every 5.48 residents. The current population of 89,000 with 8,772 local jobs within the city limits means there is now one job in the city for every 10.14 residents. That means if the land use pans out to its maximum potential within 20 to 40 years the job gap versus population will be cut in half.

Using the 2010 Census data, 46 percent of the city population is of typical workforce age from 19 to 65 years old. Apply that to the jobs and population projected at build out and there would need to be 94,925 jobs within Manteca to provide one job for every adult of employment age. That number would have to be further reduced by those that can’t work and those that have no need to work.

The entirety of Airport Way through Manteca, as well as all of Main Street except between Moffat Boulevard and Louise Avenue, is proposed to have truck route designations. If adopted, it would mean trucks could legally travel the length of Airport Way to reach the 120 Bypass and even Atherton Drive going to and from the United Pacific intermodal yard on Roth Road. The UP facility is expected to ultimately have 2,186 daily truck trips or 130 percent more than it currently generates.

At the same time trucks from a proposed rezoning of land on the southwest corner of Louise Avenue and Airport Way that would allow up to 5 million square feet of distribution center space could legally travel east on Louise Avenue and then turn north on Main Street to reach Highway 99 via the Lathrop Road interchange.

The plan is not likely to sit well with residents whose homes back up against Airport Way who have spoken out against the corridor being converted into a truck route.

Putting more truck traffic on Airport Way is likely to accelerate the deterioration of the pavement. Truck traffic is what primarily triggered the need for the city to spend $1.4 million last year to completely rebuild 2,550 feet of Lathrop east of Airport Way. Lathrop Road is one of three truck routes that legally exist in Manteca.

Under state law trucks can go off designated truck routes to make deliveries and pickups to stores and such.  As such truck traffic is seen occasionally on Louise Avenue.

While the proposed truck routes clearly may not make residents happy, the city has approved the building of business parks — and is preparing to create more zoning for them — along the Airport Way that need to have a legal way for trucks to go to and from distribution centers.

Manteca currently has three designated truck routes. One is a standard legal California truck route the length of Moffat terminating at Main Street. There are also two truck routes for 65 feet and longer trucks. Such routes are designated as Surface Transportation Assistant Act routes.

The truck study was first commissioned by the city 30 months ago. It came after the council received numerous complaints about trucks parking along as well as traveling the Airport Way corridor that is not currently a designated truck route. Others were concerned STAA trucks were not allowed or properly accommodated by the city along the Lathrop Road corridor.

The draft general plan also calls for addressing another sore point.  It calls for exploring a joint truck route facilities district with Lathrop and other neighboring jurisdictions. Lathrop has complained for years that Manteca has been allowing distribution centers and such to be built along its western city limits with Lathrop and instead of providing an in-city truck route for truck movements has simply been dumping truck traffic on Lathrop city streets to reach Interstate 5.

The plan also calls for California legal truck routes on:

  • Atherton Drive between Airport Way and Main Street.
  • Main Street south of the 120 Bypass to the southern city limits.
  • South Main Street between Moffat and Main Street to connect a standard truck route with a STAA truck route for trucks longer than 65 feet.
  • Lathrop Road east of Highway 99 to Austin Road if and when that area is annexed to the city.
  • Interior streets in the Spreckels Business Park including Commerce Drive, Commerce Court, Phoenix Avenue, and DuPont Court.
  • McKinley Avenue north from the future interchange with the 120 Bypass to Daniels street where it will turn east and end at point near Great Wolf.

The plan calls for STAA routes for 65-foot and longer trucks on:

  • Austin Road south of Highway 99 to the city limits as well as north to Graves Road.
  • Airport Way between the freeway and Daniels Street and the west to a point near Great Wolf.
  • Roth Road from the railroad tracks to Airport Way.
  • Intermodal Way that runs south of Roth Road behind the Amazon and 5.11 Tactical distribution centers that will terminate now into eventually two truck parking yards that will hold  a combined 649 trucks and trailers.

The plan also calls for STAA routes when land north of Lathrop Road is annexed into the city including:

  • Airport Way from a point south of Lovelace Road to French Camp Road.
  • The future Roth Road extension east of Airport Way.
  • French Camp Road to Highway 99.