Author Archives | Jon Mendelson

Stockton City Council approves building fee reduction

Earlier this week, developer interests proved once again that they still wield influence with the Stockton City Council. For months, council members have debated different proposals to reduce permit fees to spur home-building. The process has involved numerous meetings and at least two comprehensive reports by city staff on differing versions of the officially titled […]

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Debate on homebuilder fees nearing finish line

Reducing developer fees was the main issue debated during the Nov. 3 Stockton City Council meeting, at least the third time the issue has been discussed in earnest. When the marathon session ended after several hours, the consensus was that more analysis was necessary before action could be taken. Despite the glacial pace, the delay […]

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“Stockton Economic Stimulus” for homebuilders gaining steam

A proposal crafted by developers to reduce fees that pay for vital city infrastructure took another step toward passage following a special study session of the Stockton City Council on Oct. 13. The plan was written by the Building Industry Association (BIA), which represents the interests of Central Valley builders. If approved by the council […]

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General Plan update coming, but will it hit right notes?

Since a 2008 settlement with the state attorney general’s office, Stockton has been under a legal mandate to update its General Plan to reduce sprawl and develop the city’s core. So far, that effort has been strangled by bureaucracy or stalled in the name of sorting out the city’s bankruptcy. But according to a pair […]

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Council shelves fee reduction for single-family homes

Those calling for caution in regards to Stockton’s growth and future finances won a measured but meaningful victory Tuesday, Aug. 18, at City Hall. The City Council decided to conduct further study regarding the “Stockton Economic Stimulus Plan” proposed by Mayor Anthony Silva after hearing from several individuals and organizations. (Full disclosure: I was one […]

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Council approves first step of major Downtown Stockton project

Some Stocktonians have waited through decades of fights, busts and disappointment hoping to see the city’s downtown injected with new life. So it was fitting that an ambitious proposal won its first City Council approval only after an interminable, contentious and completely unrelated public comment period. But the fracas over an appointment to a city […]

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Biennial homeless census reveals deep need for affordable housing in San Joaquin County

According to a report released Tuesday, March 17, there are more homeless individuals than ever on the streets of San Joaquin County. A point-in-time count conducted during the last week of January interviewed 541 people in the county who were staying on the streets, in a car, under an overpass, or in another place not […]

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With recession lifting, will sprawl resume?

As Stockton shakes off the storm clouds of bankruptcy and looks to a brighter future, it’s fair to wonder if smart growth will be a forgotten priority. Though the City Council and city planners embraced the imperative for a more sustainable, less sprawl-filled future during the city’s time in bankruptcy, there seems to be little […]

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Lathrop’s River Islands seeks foothold in ACE Rail expansion plan

The first houses of a massive development are hitting the open market and the project’s developers hope the growth eventually shifts the orbit of rail transit in southern San Joaquin County. But the ambitious idea could end up running off the tracks before it gathers significant steam. According to Susan Dell’Osso, Project Director of the […]

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City council approves Grand View Village housing development for Downtown Stockton

A Stockton City Council vote will help two Stockton-based developers take the next step in redeveloping downtown and proving that the city’s revitalization movement can be homegrown.

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