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Manteca expands by 20 parks since 2002

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Pillsbury Estates Park at 890 Mono Street n South Manteca is the city’s 60th park.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED August 28, 2014 1:12 a.m.

Manteca hit a milestone this year when the city’s 60th park was completed.

Of those, a third of them have opened since 2002 including Woodward Park, Big League Dreams sports park, and the Spreckels BMX track.

“That’s quite a number for a city to add in 12 years,” noted Councilman Vince Hernandez who was first elected to the council in 2012.

The 60th park facility was completed in the past month in the new Pillsbury Estates neighborhood at 890 Mono Street south of Woodward Avenue and east of the established Woodward Park neighborhoods. It includes two playground apparatuses, a picnic area with barbecues, benches, and even a sign. Under a policy change made in the late 1990s, developers are required to put the parks in place with the cost going against neighborhood park fees that are collected. Woodside Homes interpreted the language of the development agreements that the city enters into as meaning they just have to pay for the parks and not build them. That’s why Union Ranch and Tesoro were built after a number of homes had been put in place. Woodside Homes bought lots in each case from Atherton Homes. Atherton had entered into agreements with the city for the parks that went with the land meaning it a different developer built homes they would have to comply two the terms.

The city has since cleaned up language to make it clear the developer must put neighborhood parks in place. Developers also are now required to put in place a landscape maintenance district that covers maintaining neighborhood parks as well. That reduces costs on the city’s general fund and assures the parks will be maintained.

Manteca has been able to continue adding parks without an increase in parks staffing.

The city’s general plan that serves as a blueprint for growth aims to have a park within a half mile walking distance of every residence.

The 61st and 62nd parks — both located south of Woodward Avenue and within a half mile of Union Road — are both under construction in the new Blossom Grove and Oleander Estates neighborhoods. The Oleander park has been named in honor of Charles O. Palmer II, the first Manteca soldier to fall in the Global War on Terror.

Manteca is also upgrading older parks. The city has just completed placing new playground equipment at William Martin Park, Mayors Park, and St. Francis Park. Within the next 12 months new playground equipment will be placed at Doxey Park, Yosemite Park, and Crestwood Park.

The city has just out the Morezone ball field renovation project out to bid and is working on the design for the Lincoln Park group picnic area renovation, and the addition of exercise stations at Woodward Park.

In addition 28,370 adults and kids participate annually in everything from organized sports leagues and recreation classes to swimming lessons through the City of Manteca.

The most popular is the Kids’ Zone program with 7,893 enrollees throughout the course of a year.

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