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Union Ranch homeowners may pay $748 yearly for park & landscape upkeep
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It may cost buyers of homes in Union Ranch East ultimately $748.14 a year to pay for park and common landscaping maintenance as well as contributing $20,500 annually to an irrigation well replacement fund.

And while at least one Union Ranch East homeowner has appeared before the Manteca City Council declaring he thought it wasn’t fair that subdivision residents had to pay for a park anyone can use an that’d he’d likely vote against an assessment, it is pretty much a done deal.

That’s because there is one vote attached to each parcel and a legally binding agreement with the developers requires them to cast votes in favor of the formation of the landscape maintenance district as a condition of getting their subdivision map approved. And since the vast majority of the 480 lots in the neighborhood just east of Del Webb at Woodbridge in north Manteca are still owned by developers, the vote is a slam dunk for the city.

Buyers are supposed to be made aware of the fact there would be a landscape maintenance district (LMD) formed when they were in escrow.

Developers for several years with new projects have had to agree to the formation of an LMD in order to gain approval. It is due to a shrinking general fund and the fact city leaders didn’t want all park maintenance throughout the city to suffer because of growth.

It is also correct that anyone will be able to use the 7.3-acre park that will double as a storm retention basin and a 3.3-acre linear park regardless of whether  they reside in Union Ranch East or not. Work will start on the parks this fall. The city is paying a consultant $5,000 to redo the plans devised five years ago to make them more cost effective to maintain.

The cost for basic landscape maintenance and supplies for the park and common landscape areas along Union Road are $115,116 a year.  The electricity is expected to cost $15,800 with much of it paying for the irrigation well’s electricity costs. The water cost is $31,425.

Since all of the facilities won’t be in place, the assessment for the initial fiscal year starting July 1 will be $496.31. It will end up being closer to $784.14 annually once all improvements are finished.

There are at least four other neighborhoods in Manteca that have the park maintenance collapsed into their LMD assessment.

The city in the past has explored adding the cost of maintaining the storm run-off system in each neighborhood as well as street lighting to the cost of future LMDs.

The council will decide Tuesday during their 7 p.m. meeting at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., whether to move forward with the formation of the LMD for Union Ranch East.