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School land swap deal for Union Ranch before board
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The agreement outlining the provisions of the exchange of properties between the Manteca Unified School District and Union Ranch Partners will be discussed and considered for approval tonight by the Board of Trustees.

The exchange involves the 9-acre Union Ranch school site on North Union Road and the 8-acre Tesoro site on Van Ryn Avenue, both owned by the school district, and the 17-acre Tara property in the Oakwood Trails development on south McKinley and Woodward avenues.

The district wants to exchange the two smaller future school sites that would have been home to smaller school annexes for the larger piece of property to better prepare itself for future growth. According to current housing growth patterns in the district, a new K-8 campus south of the Highway 120 Bypass will be needed in the near future.

Among the provisions of the contract are the following:

•The land exchange is contingent upon the approval by the City of Manteca of the creation of the Tara school site and its zoning as such.

•Union Ranch Partners developers shall be responsible for the cost of maintaining the district properties – Union Ranch and Tesoro site – for dust and weed control upon execution of the exchange agreement and through the close of escrow.

The issue over dust and weed problems was a big problem for residents around the Union Ranch property in the residential neighborhood east of North Union Road, just across from the Woodbridge at Del Webb. Unhappy residents went before the board several times in the last few years complaining about the eyesore in the middle of their neighborhood ruining the values of their properties.

The board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the district office boardroom at 2271 West Louise Avenue.