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Manteca making list of possible dog park sites
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Councilman Richard Silverman wants Manteca to deliver on a 12-year-old promise to create a city dog park.

If he had his way, it would be up and running by next summer.

Municipal staff, though, said that isn’t likely given other major projects the Parks and Recreation staff is juggling. Funds for a dog park are included in this year’s municipal budget.

That said, Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Fant said at Tuesdays’ council meeting staff is hoping to have physical work started on a dog park by next summer.,

Meanwhile they are in the process of preparing a list of possible sites that would be vented during a future meeting of the parks and Recreation Commission.

The sites that could make the short list are:

uLand adjacent to the Manteca Animal Shelter on Wetmore Street at South Main Street.

uA parcel adjacent to the Moffat Community Center on Moffat Boulevard that will double as the Manteca Veterans Center.

uThe northeast corner of Woodward Park.

uLand immediately north of the Parks & Recreation office at the Civic Center where dog obedience classes are now conducted.

uThe Manteca Golf Park along Union Road south of the tennis courts and across the access road.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin and Fant indicated the three previously considered sites — along Union Road, the Civic Center, and Woodward Park — have issues.

Fant said that federal rules governing storm run-off prohibits placing dog parks in storm retention basins.

“That its self eliminated a lot of sites,” Fant said.

It also causes problems with two of the previous sites that were picked and then dropped on due to funding issues — Woodward Park and Union Road. Both areas slope toward retention basins.

McLaughlin said that might be remedied with berming or re-grading but other issues would still exist. One is both areas have extensive trees. While providing an ideal shade canopy, it would make it difficult for grass to grow under heavy use. A possible solution would be to thin trees at either location. Such a move may not prove popular to tree advocates.

While the city is looking at expanding the senior center at some point which would interfere with the first adopted dog park site, McLaughlin noted the grassy area adjacent to a parking lot on Magnolia Avenue would probably be far enough away that it could work.

The Wetmore site is part of the city’s corporation yard near the water tower.

Dog lovers in Manteca first sought a dog park in 2001. That was when the original plan was floated by several citizens led by Park West neighborhood resident Karen Grupe. A year later the Dog Owners Group of Manteca was organized.

In 2003 the council at the time approved establishing a canine recreational complex on the grass area west of the Manteca Senior Center rear parking lot and north of the Parks and Recreation building at the Civic Center complex. They had considered and rejected a proposal to place a dog park at the Manteca Golf Park directly across from the tennis courts on Union Road.

The Civic Center was viewed as a temporary location since it was believed expansion of city offices could require the land in 10 years. Twelve years later the city has neither created a dog park nor expanded city hall.

In 2007, the city adopted a site on the northeast corner of the 52-acre park where Woodward Avenue and Bridewell Avenue.