As the name implies, Farmington is a farming community. The closest thing to a downtown includes a general store, a bar and grill establishment, a convenience store with a Shell station, a Post Office, an elementary school and a Methodist church.
All within walking distance.
Located 17 miles east of Stockton and nine miles north of Escalon, it has all of 340 people. But one of the options San Joaquin County officials will weigh during the next year is whether it wants to allow the close-knit community to grow 16 times larger by the year 2030 — to about the current size of Morada.
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors will determine future growth patterns for rural areas within the next year. This afternoon, the board will conduct a study session about the county's General Plan, which hasn't been updated since 1992.
In addition to looking at the possibility of expanding Farmington to more than 5,000 people by 2030, supervisors will look at communities closer to home — Woodbridge, Thornton, Victor, Lockeford, Clements, Acampo and Morada.
Farmington is just as it sounds, an agricultural community. Its "downtown" is centered at Highway 4 and Escalon-Bellota Road. It seems that Farmington Water Co. received a federal grant to acquire domestic water, which would be attractive to developers. That information came from a patron at Lagorio's Grill and Bar, but he wouldn't disclose his name because a lot of people know each other in Farmington.
Then there's Kristine Kalebaugh, a bartender at Lagorio's for 13 years who has lived in Farmington all her life. She is the middle of three generations to attend Farmington Elementary School and remembers her childhood, when she could lie in the middle of Highway 4 and not be in danger of being hit. No more than five vehicles went through town on a Sunday afternoon, she said.
"I don't want to see it grow," Kalebaugh said. "I've seen it grow enough."
County Senior Planner Ray Hoo, who is leading the staff work on the county's General Plan update, says it's a bit early in the process to worry about growth.
If the Board of Supervisors decides to expand Farmington's population and that of other rural areas, the county would have to ensure that there are enough services such as water, sewer, traffic control for the new General Plan to work, Hoo said.
Another potential hot spot for growth in rural areas is the Interstate 5 corridor south of Tracy.
At today's meeting, the Board of Supervisors will hear about the so-called "alternatives report," covering growth and issues like job creation, emergency services, greenhouse emissions, ag land, water supply and demand, energy consumption, demand for parkland, flood risk, wildland fire risk, jobs/housing balance, road impacts, airport growth and how far residents would commute to work.
The report also shows population projections based on the city of Lodi and the other six cities within San Joaquin County.
Lodi — including some areas designated for possible future annexation — has a population in the 73,000 range, according to the county General Plan. But in 20 years, Lodi could be in the 90,000 range.
Other high-growth areas, according to the General Plan report, include Stockton (350,000 people today to half a million by 2030), Tracy (77,000 today to almost 125,000 by 2030), Manteca (63,000 today to about 114,000) and Mountain House, west of Tracy (16,000 to about 55,000).
The "alternatives report" includes more charts than you can read in a short period of time. One chart has population figures for each community, large and small, listing the current population, projected population based on the current General Plan, and projections based on three separate options.
The area north of Lodi is divided into three communities in the General Plan — Acampo (in the Acampo Road corridor west of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks), Coopers Corner (east Highway 99 frontage road in the Acampo Road area near Houston School) and Collierville (along the Highway 99 corridor from Jahant to Liberty roads).
"Alternative A" calls for population in rural areas to expand by 46,000 countywide, 38,400 of it set for the master-planned community of Mountain House. The remaining growth would include the 16-fold population increase for Farmington, plus smaller increases for Lockeford, Woodbridge, Thornton, Morada, Linden and French Camp.
"Alternative B" focuses on more growth within the seven existing cities, plus multi-family housing.
"Alternative C" focuses on business and industrial growth creating jobs along the Highway 99 and I-5 corridor. That would add homes to communities like Thornton and the I-5 corridor south of Tracy. It would also add businesses to Flag City, the Stockton Metropolitan Airport area and the Highway 99 corridor between Manteca and Ripon.
Water distribution systems antiquated in Lockeford, Clements, Linden and French Camp, according to the report, so they would need to be improved for population growth in those communities.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.