A recent report to our city stated that Tracy might have the opportunity to be a satellite Silicon Valley and provide our children and citizens with thousands of high-paying jobs.
Many years back, prior to the real estate bubble bursting, the voters of Tracy decided to limit the number of house permits given a year to 600, so that the city could spend more time and resources to get businesses to locate within the cities sphere of influence.
At least this was the reasoning. This is Tracy’s fatal dilemma.
Technology expert, Vivek Wadhwa, told the city that to make Tracy a hub of good paying jobs requires the city to significantly increase its stock of homes. This makes sense, as highly skilled people want nice homes to live in that are near their place of employment. In a town that has increasingly been hostile to housing development, I seriously doubt that Tracy will ever become the high-tech place that it could be.
I can remember many letters to the Press years ago vilifying developers as greedy profiteers who wanted to exploit our city and ruin its small-town feeling. I doubt a tear was shed by many when these developers went bankrupt and thousands of construction workers lost their jobs. This was the price of preserving our “peaceful” town.
Progress will be made and other cities will become places were high-tech industry will thrive. However, I seriously doubt that it will be here in Tracy or in most of California. Sadly, in this town and in this state, true progress (building new things) is a dirty word.
• Editor’s note: Measure A was passed in 2000 by Tracy voters in a general election. According to the law, a maximum of 750 residential growth allotments and a 10-year average of 600 residential growth allotments can be distributed each year by the city. A residential growth allotment is needed to obtain a building permit.