Step back on Tracy Ballpark
by Bob Brownne
Oct 09, 2012 | 6746 views | 66 66 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the time being, there will be no development of the Tracy Ballpark.

Community sentiment expressed over recent weeks regarding the future of the fields on Tracy Boulevard has caused Tracy’s city government to take a step back and reconsider how best to continue discussions about what will happen next at the park.

On Sept. 17, Tracy officials and a consultant suggested during a workshop that the 11.27-acre park, between Tracy Boulevard and Bessie Avenue just south of Grant Line Road, could be developed into homes or apartments.

New fields, the Sept. 17 presentation continued, at the Holly Sugar Sports Complex would in turn replace the baseball diamonds and football and soccer fields at Tracy Ballpark.

The concept was panned by the majority of the 12 people at the workshop and many residents of the surrounding neighborhood who later heard about the proposal.

Tracy’s Parks and Community Services Commission heard from many of the people who live in the neighborhood during the commission’s regular meeting Thursday, Oct. 4.

Though the item wasn’t on the agenda, many people addressed Tracy Ballpark’s future during the public comment session.

Tracy City Manager Leon Churchill led off Thursday’s discussion by reading a letter to commission Chairwoman Linda Jimenez.

In the letter, Churchill said the matter is on the Tracy City Council agenda for Tuesday, Oct. 16. He acknowledged that the timing of the Sept. 17 workshop was awkward, but the city still wants to talk with neighbors about the future of Tracy Ballpark.

Churchill expects future discussions will focus on Tracy Ballpark’s future as a city park, not as a housing development.

“We are clearly hearing the sense from a cross-section of the community the desire to preserve and honor history, and the existing facility of Tracy Ballpark,” Churchill said after Thursday’s meeting.

While city officials had cited complaints about the traffic, lights and noise the activities at the park create, Greg Welch, who lives on Whittier Avenue just south of the park, said he found no such sentiment among his neighbors.

Welch attended the Sept. 17 meeting and wanted so see for himself what other neighbors would think of the proposals put forth that night.

“I went home and thought about it, and two days later I started a petition,” he said.

Bessie Avenue resident Phillip Treat, who also was at the Sept. 17 meeting, agreed to help, Welch said.

“It snowballed from there,” Welch said. “I got all kinds of help from the neighborhood. I heard absolutely no complaints (about what I was doing).”

Melissa Sucrese, who lives on 22nd Street near the park, also went door-to-door and talked to parents at Tracy Buccaneer and Junior Bulldogs youth football practices.

“You would not believe the backlash that his has opened up in that neighborhood,” she told the commission Oct. 4. “I am telling you right now that this neighborhood will not lie down and let you do this. It is our park, and we want to keep it.

City Council candidates Charles Manne, Raymond Morelos and Roger Birdsall also weighed in on the issue during the Oct. 4 meeting, urging preservation of the park.

Councilman Robert Rickman also restated his position from the council’s first discussion regarding the park from Sept. 18.

“Holly (Sugar Sports Complex) is meant to supplement, not take away parks,” Rickman told the commission. “Tracy needs to provide a lot more things to do for families and their kids.”

Rickman added he would have preferred the ideas for the future of the park brought first to the commission and then to the City Council, rather than have the workshop introduce the concept.

Since the matter wasn’t on the commission’s Thursday night agenda, there was no action taken and no discussion among the commissioners.

Churchill said community discussions will continue, and noted that the city still faces a big expense — estimated at about $3.9 million — to bring needed improvements to the park as it is currently envisioned as a hub for organized sports.

“I hope we have another community process to get a better Tracy Ballpark,” he said. “We still should have a dialogue to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.”

n Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.

Comments
(66)
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Seek_the_Truth
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November 27, 2012
Thanks to those who support the Tracy Ball Park. It is great to see the community come together!
sugarbee80
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October 15, 2012
Save The Ball Park has OVER 2,000 signatures to keep the ball park.
backinblack
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October 11, 2012
CR, While making a good point you go on to minimilize it and actually help my view. Granted, it's pretty tough to pick up a book if one is not available so on that point I acquiesce. However, you go on to state the reason kids can identify Kim Kardashian is because they are immersed in the internet. Question, if they can learn about Kardashian why can't they learn about North Korea, The Civil War, or the three branches of government instead? At the very least if they are on the internet they can't be out causing trouble, right? With that in mind allow me to change from literally picking up a book, to simply reading and learning things such as US History as a way to avoid boredom.

You and I are not going to agree because it appears we are very different in how we view life. I come from a generation, I'm 51 by the way, where we did not make excuses, we excelled, learned, and accomplished things in spite of the obstacles or lack of having something such as a conveniently located park, playground, or library.

Can't find a book, try the internet. Don't have net access, don't have a book, ask friends or family if they do, maybe they'll let you borrow a book or their computer. Easy.
sugarbee80
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October 12, 2012
You are obviously operating under a wrong notion.

We are talking Sports Park and not an Aquatics Park. Your mixing apples with oranges with your comments regarding the Aquatics Park, how it's funded, a how it will be staged in its construction.

The construction of the Youth Sports Park has an entirely different set of dynamics a funding.

I think that it's a shame when one's personal desires get in the way of providing all of the children the facilities they so desperately need for their recreation.

I never expected to see "Everyone happy" as that is a factual impossibility. But you do tell it exactly how it is a set your priorities with your statement, "Everyone except the many residents caught completely off guard by the proposal."

Note, it was a proposal, a suggestion. It didn't mean they were actually going to do it and were actively open to exploring other ideas.

Someone hired a consultant, an expert in this sort of thing, and this is the suggestion he came up with. Is that wrong? I personally don't think so, a welcome suggestions, proposals and ideas. That way everyone can look at it and hopefully the majority can agree on what course of action to ultimately take.

"Mr. Churchill what doesn't work is you trying to take a way a ball park from the citizens of Tracy and the organized sport teams that use it."

While that is partially true at the end of the ordeal Tracy very well could be giving back much more than it has proposed to away from the citizens of Tracy and the organized sport teams that use it in a less expensive and timely fashion so that more citizens of Tracy and the organized sports teams can avail themselves of the same opportunity.

But to make you and your neighbors happy, let's just leave things like they are an ignore the need of our citizens and organized sports teams who don't have enough facilities to use while we wait even more years and a higher price tag to complete the badly needed facilities out on the old Holly Sugar property. I am certain THAT will make everyone happy. Not really but hopefully you get the point.

One wonders who the larger group of happy people is. From this article it appears they all live next to the old Tracy Ball Park. Funny, I always thought the City should represent all the people that make up its citizens and not just the folks around an inadequate, old an expensive to retrofit Ball Park that will still be inadequate if it's ever completely modernized. The acreage just isn't large enough to meet the need.

Granted, the new facility isn't large enough either but since the City owns most of the old Holly Sugar property an expansion there would be much easier while an expansion at the present Ball Park is imposable.

Going to be interesting to see how this pans out, or rather not pans out as nothing continues to get done as it has been for 20 years or more.

Marma_duke
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October 13, 2012
I understand it might seem like twenty years when you are in a hurry but I found out the opposite is true. The plans were drawn up only a few years ago but here is the catch. There is required work near the mall's underpass and that is already underway. To me that seems fast. Ironically I happened to be complaining about the construction to someone who enlightened me that this underpass construction is for that same ballpark you are talking about out there at the mall. Probably wont be soon enough though.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 14, 2012
Marma_duke

First of all thair must be a problem with th server cus th comment was frum me an not sugarbee80.

Th sports park has been in th plannin fer about 80 years just not at th current location. First was th property on Chrisman an 11th street east of th old heinz factory.

Th next site was th old antenna farm out on W Shulte close ta th Safeway Distribution Warehouse.

Then politics got inta th game an two other properties came inta view each with a hitch ta allow those land owners ta develop other properties inta housin, not all that dissimilar ta th Aquatics park an Serpa.

Finally, after a long political battle, th Holly Sugar property already owned by th City was selected.

Frum th Chrissman Road plans ta th Holly Sugar present day plans has been at least 20 years meanin 1982 or close.

Th main point bein is that fer that amount of time a lot of kids have been short changed in that not all of em have been able ta play league sports because thair ain't enough facilities in town ta accommodate em.

As ta th underpass reconstruction out by th mall, that was planned a long time ago an th sports park had nothin ta do with that. Check it out with Caltrans.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 14, 2012
Marma_duke

Sorry about that, don't know why I typed 80 years unless I was thankin 1980's. I meant ta type 20n years.
backinblack
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October 11, 2012
Chris, Boredom should not be an acceptable excuse for kids who get in trouble, are you kidding? Kids these days have at least 10 fold more things to do than my buddies and I when we grew up. Try reading slt's comment, especially the part about picking up a book.

Why do you think more kids or adults for that matter, can identify pictures of some idiot housewife or a Kardashian but not John Boehner or Harry Reid? Why do you think the average college level civics exam score hovers around a pathetic 50%? In case you haven't noticed it seems way too many kids these days have problems with spelling, holding intelligent conversations, and displaying good social skills, why?

I have at least one answer to all of the above, there are too many excuses these days and they are perpetrated by way too many parents and a seemingly growing majority of the general population.

Although every generation has slackers and miscreants I can tell you as fact back in my younger days when we were bored we found creative things to do which did not involve getting into trouble. I contribute it to better overall parenting and a higher level of expectations and pride. Now it's mediocrity and excuses.
ChrisRoberts
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October 11, 2012
Your solution is to pick up a book?

Uh have you been to the Tracy library lately? There are hardly any books in that small place, it is better in that it gives kids and the less affluent computer access.

I remember being in school and having to do a report on North Korea, the library did not have A SINGLE book on the country.

Now how exactly are kids supposed to go pick up a book when they hardly have any to begin with here in town?

Why do kids identify the Kardashians more than anyone else? Because they are stuck inside on the internet, because people like you don't think a city should provide them with skate and bmx parks to exorcize and congregate
ChrisRoberts
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October 11, 2012
And by skate and bmx parks, I mean quality ones designed by people who actually do the activities.

Not brain dead developers with concrete to spare and money to make.
dcose
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October 11, 2012
I'll take skate & bmx for $1,000 Chris

The answers are:

Rotary & The Souza Family

people who actually do the activities

In the form of a question:

Who donated the skate & bike parks at Pescadero Park and the Souza Development west of town?

Who gave design input for the facilities ?

Is this the time you refer to your "gun" again?
dcose
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October 11, 2012
You were in school ? Are your parents aware they are entitled to reclaim the money spent on most, if not all of your education ?

It's apparent you're down to your last two brain cells and they're badly in need of replacement.

The one being in charge of keeping your body going may last longer. The one used for cognitive reasoning however...

it is my considered duty to inform you... Uh, why bother ?.

May I interest you in another helping of foot ? It has been prepared souless for your specific dining pleasure.

Bon Appetit!

:-)
ChrisRoberts
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October 11, 2012
Dale Cose, perhaps senility from old age is getting the best of you. Perhaps you do not remember the input local skaters gave, which was ignored in building el pescadero skate park.

A horribly built skatepark, across the street from a liquor store and park where gangbangers congregate.

Hey old man Cose, which developer got the contract to build the skatepark? Oh that's right they went with the lowest bidder, who of course did the worst job.

Souza Development west of town? You talking about the joke that is the west gate neighborhood "skate park" in the middle of a basketball court and upslope, like GlenBriar's?

Or how about Edgewoods skatepark, where a moronic developer put the park on sidewalk surface and put obstacles adjacent to the grass, making it impossible to use said obstacles?
RedHotChilliPeppers
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October 12, 2012
I thought the article was about a ballpark? There is no skate park there.
dcose
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October 12, 2012
Chris,

Yes, I'm talking about those places you denigrate.

I'm still waiting to hear what you have done to the betterment of the the City or it's surrounding area.

Paying lip-service is a nonstarter.

Thinking back, I'm still waiting for a reply from you about...

should you ever decide to sell your "tacky" home, will you disclose the construction issues to a new buyer?

Issues for which you received money for?

:-)
beepbeepcomingthrough
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October 10, 2012
and lets not talk about WRECKS. I almost got in a wreck the other day trying to avoid your big body on Mccarthur and you were all the way over in the bike lane. But you had one and a half cheeks in my lane.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
An we have another mental midget who can't enter inta any civilized discussion an can't thank of anythang of anythang better ta say than hurlin insults at people.

Good job. Really showed everyone how pathetically inept ya are at civilized thankin.
beepbeepcomingthrough
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October 10, 2012
Well that is all news to me. I thought you just sat on tracypress.com all day. I was never familiar with what it is you do. All i hear is just how smart you are and all the wonderful things you do for this town. Honestly...I'm not impressed.
dcose
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October 10, 2012
"and lets not talk about WRECKS...."

If it hasn't occurred to you, try looking through your glass navel when operating a motor vehicle.

:-)

"Honestly...I'm not impressed."

You asked, "Remind me again what you have done in this town?" Now you're honest ?

for someone unable to document anything he may have accomplished, should I care ?

beepbeepcomingthrough
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October 10, 2012
It looks like Dcose is the smartest guy in town if you only read tracypress.com comments. Remind me again what you have done in this town? Cuz only thing i ever see is a big guy talking a lot and riding a coat tail.
dcose
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October 10, 2012
You've probably been to a number of restaurants I constructed...

or stores, or offices, or homes, or affordable housing programs, or remodel/additions, or helped with the Construction Program at Kimball High, or are aware of the plotter I donated to Tracy High, or involved in the Downtown Association, or resolving code enforcement issues for property owners, or resolved people's issues with City Hall, or planted quit a few trees at parks and parking lots or did handicap remediation issues for business owners, or volunteered organizing Crime Stoppers, or etc.

I'd ask you about your contributions but your non deplume

beepbeepohnoIcausedanotherwreck probably wouldn't show anywhere.

:-)
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
Well if ya bothered ta extract yer cranium out of yer anal orifice an clear th accumulation dung out of yer ears ya might hear a whole lot more f what is goin on in town an what people like Dale have been contributin ta it.

Other than admirin yer physical flexibility ta accomplish that feat I too am really not impressed.
ChrisRoberts
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October 10, 2012
Dale Cose is one of the many people we have to thank for the tacky ugly sprawl in this town.

Hence why he pops his neck in on development issues. I wonder if he will build the tacky McDonalds planned near tracy high.

He Dale, how much would it cost to get you to hire a talented architect to build something that is not a sore sight. Oh wait, that's right cheapest bidder.....
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
ChrisRoberts

What's th matter Chris, feelin bad taday? No one givin ya any attention?

Say, can I borrow yer crystal ball that gives ya such excellent 20/20 vision inta th future?

"I wonder if he will build the tacky McDonalds planned near tracy high."

Tacky? As far as I know no one has seen th plans yet but could be wrong.

Not ta worry though, how ever it tarns out I am quite shore it won't be as tacky as where yer probably livin.

But I am still tryin ta find one of them tacky places ya say he's built. Care ta help me out?

Just pick th worst one that will do an we can then all determine how tacky it really is. Sounds fair ta me don't it ta ya?

Perhaps what's in order here is yer definition of what's tacky an what's not? It is sorta subjective dependin on who's lookin at it ain't it?

Hope th rest of yer day goes better than it obviously has.

dcose
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October 11, 2012
"Dale Cose is one of the many people we have to thank for the tacky ugly sprawl in this town. "

Chris, please feel free to identify those homes I constructed that are, in your opinion, "tacky".

By your choosing to reside in Tracy It appears you didn't feel that way at some point.
ChrisRoberts
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October 11, 2012
Dale, I moved to Tracy before you and your crook pals ruined this town with your pathetic excuse for development.

The only thing you have done for this town is help turn it into New Stockton. So forgive me if I don't say thanks.

I would never pay money for a house that you helped build, though I would not have a problem getting one for free handed down or inherited. But pay money? HAH
dcose
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October 14, 2012
Chris,

Started in 1972. What year did you move here?
dcose
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October 14, 2012
You haven't referred to your gun lately... Isn't it passed due ?

:-)
RedHotChilliPeppers
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October 10, 2012
Funny thing about the Tracy Press. Don't they just parrot what a few politicians are saying and abort the rest of the news?

There are two sides to the park. The neighbors on the east side are a moot point.

The children walking across a four lane freeway is generating the complaints.

And people should not disregarding safety issues just to get elected.
sugarbee80
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October 10, 2012
RedHotChilliPeppers,

How many years has Tracy Blvd been a four lane street? Doesn’t it have cross-walks? Don’t children cross it every day to get to Monte Vista School or West High? Where is the responsibility of the parents? Why does “big brother/government” have to get involved and act as the parent and remove a park? If the city is receiving jay-walking complaints then the police department should give out tickets to the hordes of children crossing Tracy Blvd. I think that would get the attention of the parents who are breaking the law. I understand the police department has bigger problems to solve like people parking more than two hours in downtown Tracy. I do believe that as a community we should help keep our children safe but a jay-walking problem is easily solved. I also think there are bigger problems with the youth of Tracy (drugs, gangs, drinking and driving).

RedHotChilliPeppers
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October 10, 2012
sugarbee80,

There is not enough parking at the ballpark. So, folks are walking across a four lane highway.

Yes, something needs to be done. The schools you refer to. Take a look at Kimball. Where the State installed sidewalks. It is a state mandate. Children involved in after school activities should not be required to unsafely cross a four lane highway.

Recently someone was hit by a car, doing just that.

This is not just "j-walking".

There is not enough parking for the ballpark. The city tried to point that out. I don't care if it is election season. People should pay better attention to the safety issues.

If someone was standing on the median and took a step back, that park would be full of ANGRY and confused parents.

Please do not make this political.
backinblack
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October 10, 2012
Dale, Looks like you're spinning your wheels on this one but good luck.

Sneaky, thanks for pointing out a 6000 sq ft lot is dinky and may be a reason for a low quality of life, yep, that explains away a lot of the problems our society has these days.

CR, You seem to pick and choose how you want to apply responsibility. The Tracy PD is a lousy group so you take responsibility for your protection by packing and patrolling your property, yet you seem to believe it's the city's responsibility to give your kids something to do.

Amlee, there's a lesson you may want to pass on to your kids, learn to appreciate what they have. Doesn't your husband make a whole bunch of money? Why not build a wonderland in your own backyard, then you don't have to worry about what the city does. Oh wait, maybe you have one of those dinky lots sneaky referred to.

slt359 wins the award for the most level headed comment as the proverbial nail has been hit on the head. Unfortunately slt is out numbered by further examples of personal responsibility leaving the building.

ChrisRoberts
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October 10, 2012
Uh I don't think it is the cities responsibility to give kids something to do, but it is certainly in its benefit.

I'd rather have the local kids here tiring themselves out skateboarding and bmxing all day. Than tiring themselves out using hard drugs or committing acts of vandalism, merely out of boredom.

Not that hard to comprehend there bucko.
Realintracy
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October 10, 2012
Well, Ornely, it appears a petition complied by citizens, legal or not, certainly had an effect. Lest you forget, there was a lot more than discussion. A consultant was hired, put together a presentation to the city council, bypassed the planning commission, and Mr. Maciel, publicly stated he was in favor of selling the park.

Let's not forget, contrary to your previous assertion, that the park was approved by the city council in 1944, for a ball field or park, not to increase sales at the neighboring strip mall or to make a profit, so Holly could be built.

Good for Rickman, Mann, Birdsall and Morelos for sticking up for the kids in this town. The neighbors that we're involved and cared about the park are to be congratulated for a job well done. Thank you Mr. Welch and all those who worked to bring this issue to a close, for now.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
RIT

"Well, Ornely, it appears a petition complied by citizens, legal or not, certainly had an effect."

Never said it wouldn't have an effect. Said it probably wasn't a legal petition an as such could not be used ta force anythang in a court of law or put anything on th ballot fer people ta vote on. Don't put words in my mouth when I didn't say them please.

"Lest you forget, there was a lot more than discussion. A consultant was hired, put together a presentation to the city council, bypassed the planning commission, and Mr. Maciel, publicly stated he was in favor of selling the park."

Lest ya ferget consultants are hired all th time by th city ta put tagether presentations tat h city council that frequently pass th planning commission an I too have stated publicly I’m in favor of selling th park. So? People on City Council shouldn’t publicly express thair opinions? Just cus thair elected ta City Council means they can’t have an opinion an express it publicly?

“Let's not forget, contrary to your previous assertion, that the park was approved by the city council in 1944, for a ball field or park, not to increase sales at the neighboring strip mall or to make a profit, so H
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
Did I say it wasn’t approved by th council in 1944 fer a ball field or park? What I did say that no one has proved beyond a shadow of doubt it was sold ta th city, or gifted if ya wanna call it that, with th stipulation that it remain a ball field or park frum now until th end of all time. Also, at th time in 1944 neither th neighboring strip mall or Holly Sugar fer that matter existed. It’s yer allegations an th allegations of others that th Ball Park was “gifted” ta th City with th stipulation that it be a Ball Park forever. That still has not been proven despite th number of times it’s been alleged an th number of times I have asked fer proof.

“Good for Rickman, Mann, Birdsall and Morelos for sticking up for the kids in this town. The neighbors that we're involved and cared about the park are to be congratulated for a job well done. Thank you Mr. Welch and all those who worked to bring this issue to a close, for now.”

Yep good on all them guys fer makin it all that much longer before ALL th kids in Tracy have a facility that better meets th needs compared ta a facility that no matter how much money ya pour inta it is still gonna be insufficient ta meet that need. We can now expect ta wait what, another 10 ta 20 years before addressin th needs of ALL th children in Tracy.

I wonder. If ya sat all th children in Tracy down in one room, showed em all th plans an everything which do ya thank they would vote fer? A Ball Field with two diamonds an to co-use soccer or football fields, meanin that both baseball an soccer or football activities cannot occur simultaneously on th same fields? Or a facility much larger with permanent ball diamonds, soccer fields an football fields? Don’t know about ya but I thank they would rather have th newer facility finished more quickly so they could use it while thair kids instead of waitin in line fer th opportunity ta play on th much smaller facility.

Good thang th kids don’t vote cus a lot of adults would be mighty unhappy I suspect

No, RIT ya really haven’t won anything. In fact what ya have done is ta drag it out longer so more kids go without th ability ta play cus thars no room fer em. Good job. Pat yerself on th back. But th kids? They aren’t important now are they? Just our future is all.

So please don’t gloat ta me cus it really don’t matter that much ta me. Gloat ta th children of Tracy I am certain when they eventually find out what ya have accomplished will really be appreciated by em.

slt359
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October 09, 2012
If you want something more for your kids to do, start by having them do their chores. Then they can commit to some community service,maybe even fixing up the ball park. Onece they are done with their himework and have studied for the test, they can put down the phone, turn off the computer and snuggle up with a ggod book. After which they can hang with the old folks and learn manners and how to treat people with respect.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
sit359

Sounds good ta me. Why hasn't somethang this simple already not been done? You gonna do all that? Or are ya just sayin what ya would do if it were all up ta you? Got children? Do you manage em that way? Sounds good let's all do it.
ChrisRoberts
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October 09, 2012
In the near future I am going to get a petition going to get Tracy a proper skateboard plaza and bmx jumps. I think the ball park would be a great location, so long as the near by residents approve.

Lets get more things for our kids to do, rather than waste time building high density housing. If you want high density housing, move to Daly City or move to Dublin where middle class people can not afford homes and rent.
dcose
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October 10, 2012
Funding a proper skateboard plaza and bmx jumps is no longer a problem?

BTW- what defines an improper skateboard park?
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
No Chris, while it might be a good idea, thair not gonna approve. Haven't ya been payin attention? They have said it was donated ta th City ta be a Ball Field ferever, which means that th soccer an football should probably go since it's easily understood by everyone it ain't what is known as a Ball Field which is defined in most people's little minds as a baseball field.

So th returning veterans from WWII, God bless em all, would have a place ta play Baseball if I recall th comment.

I personally don't care what ya do with th present Ball field. Houses, shopping center, parkin lot, what ever, it simply don't need ta be a Ball Field that is inadequate an expensive ta maintain, because of it's age, when it can be sold an th monies be used ta fund a new, less expensive modern facility that will better meet th need an away from residential areas whair th noise an lightin won't be so much of a problem.

Note: It's still gonna be a problem fer a few on th south side of that facility but since thair ain't anyone on th North, West or East side, an can be easily expanded in th future as th need arises not many will have a reason ta complain about it.
Sneaky
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October 09, 2012
I am glad they are moving back in the right direction. The last thing we need is more high density development. We are severely lacking in lower density development. Its almost impossible to find a newer house here on a lot that is a more reasonable half acre or more. The worst part is that the city seems to be wiping out the older homes that sit on tolerable lots within town. It seems everytime an older house on a decent lot exchanges hands the owner is forced to sell only for commercial purposes. Instead of cramming more and more houses in the city council should think a bit about quality of life. Folks who have families with 2 or 3 kids need some space for the kids to play, ride atv, ride horses, whatever. A dinky 6000 sq ft lot just doesnt cut it.
dcose
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October 09, 2012
Is there a full moon out tonight?

Maybe take a moment (or 3-5 years) develop a project so you have some insight into what your talking about. Put your money out there. Take the risk... earn the reward... be the change you wish to see.

:-)
Sneaky
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October 09, 2012
While I have managed projects that spanned several years I readily admit to not knowing anything about real estate development, nor do I have anything remotely close to the money required to be the change I wish to see. That said, there are clearly some developers that are capable of building neighborhoods that dont sacrifice all quality of life. The neighborhoods near Van Sosten and Hansen seem to have plenty of space, as does the one at 11th and Bird. Although a bit more modest and far flung the San Jouquin Valley River Club neighborhood looks good. Unfortunately the houses in all of the above are just a bit old and its clear that we need newer versions of these types of neighborhoods. It would be good to see a mix of housing available in town. Sure, there is room for the small lots I bemoaned above, mainly for single folks. However we also need some neighborhoods that offer a bit more space. A 50/50 mix would be good. Apartments are just unneeded. They bring in bad elements.
dcose
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October 10, 2012
We built the subdivision you refer to at 11th & Bird. My former father-in-law constructed the homes at the other one your referring to, Santos Ranch. I am familiar with both. The development rules changed after both were built. It is why you rarely, if ever see those types developed and constructed today. The septic system discharges at the San Joaquin River Club led to almost a total ban on building or expansion out there.

What gets built is what the market can afford and accommodate. Try planing a project 3-5 years out. What are your costs going to be? What will the economy be like... how does that influence the market, your product etc.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
Sneaky

First of all they ain't movin in any direction at all. As I understand it thair still talkin an considerin some movement but no decision on movement has taken place.

Example please where a large residential property was sold an th City forced it ta be sold fer commercial purposes. Just one example will suffice an then perhaps we can discuss it.

So tell me, is it th City's responsibility ta force people inta homes they can't afford an dictate th price on homes so they can afford em.

Yes, kids do need a place ta play but as far as I know kids ridin atvs an horses in town ain't exactly legal an I doubt yer neighbors livin in town would like th sound of an atv buzzin around kickin up dust all day long.

Those thangs belong out in th county whair thair's room fer em an they don't disturb anyone.

Hey, that sort of sounds a little like th proposed Youth Sports Park. Lots of room, very few neighbors around ta complain an plenty of space fer kids ta play. Thanks fer makin my case.
Nicki2
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October 09, 2012
sugarbee80

I think I understand what you are saying. They can't come up with the 3.9 million to "upgrade" the ballpark, so where the hell are they going to come up with the 20 million for the aquatics park.

I would like to know that myself. And with all of the foreclosed houses in this town/county why would you want to build more? Doesn't make any sense
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
Niki2

Try goin down ta th City an look ta see how thangs get funded an th pots of money thair funded frum. Th city budged, by law, is much different than yer personal budget whair ya can spend yer money on anythang yer heart desires.

Note: Th City don't build homes. Developers do. Th city don't fork up th money ta build homes. Th developers do. Th city does get paid fees so thangs like parks, streets an utilities can be built but those fees are paid fer by developers.

Th City don't build Schools. Th school districts do that Th City don't provide th money fer schools, they simply collect it frum th taxpayers fer th school district who decided what tax they needed ta levy an gives all of that money ta th school district fer th schools ta be built.

Perhaps if ya took some time ta see how yer city government is forced ta work it would make more sense ta ya.

Nah, that's too difficult. It's easier just ta continue on in ignorance wonderin why thangs just don't make sense ta ya.

Th point is that if ya took th imitative ta go down thair an look fer yerself thangs would make more senst ta ya an ya just might come away with a better understandin of th big picture.

It would be great if thangs were really simple wouldn't it? Unfortunately, as with most thangs in life, they aren't all that simple. Even worse when people obstinately put on thair blinders an refuse ta hear any other point of view than thair own.

People are under th impression that I am hell bent on destroyin th present Ball Park. Nothin is further frum th truth an if I could I would not only keep it but build more parks, skate board parks, BMX parks an dog parks all over town. But th problem is we don't have th resources ta do that.

With th present Ball Park, here ya got an opportunity ta make a smaller sacrifice an end up with somethang that is much much better but people just can't see past their own egos ta actually allow em ta do somethang good that will greatly affect more kids.

If money was easy ta obtain an financially th City was "fat", what city in th US taday is fat, all of these thangs, larger properties for homes, parks everywhare, open spaces everwhare, schools with swimmin pools an lockers each with thair own lit football an baseball fields would be possible.

But that's a pipe dream because th reality is we don't have th financial resources ta do that an tell me who wants ta volunteer ta pay more taxes so that we might be able ta achieve some of those goals.

People seem ta be of th notion that all of this stuff is cheap an easy ta do. Like Dale mentioned, just a development ta build houses takes over three years in th plannin. Virtually th same thang is true fer parks an pools. Ya don't just plop it on th ground, walk away dustin off yer hands an say, "My, that was easy." That ain't reality.

An no matter how hard yer gonna try, ya are never gonna get everyone ta be happy about it. That's a fact of life.
sugarbee80
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October 09, 2012
Mr. Churchill,

You state "community discussions will continue, and noted that the city still faces a big expense — estimated at about $3.9 million — to bring needed improvements to the park as it is currently envisioned as a hub for organized sports". If it's a hub for organized sports then where did the money go for its up-keep? What do you mean envisioned? It is a hub for organized sports. So, the city can't come up with the $3.9 million to fix the 68 year old park but wants to pay $30 million to construct the aquatic center park ($20 million needed from the city). It will cost $15.7 million for just the 1st phase of the project with an estimate cost of $800,000 a year or MORE. Who approved city funds for the consultant to draw-up drafts of your proposed project of houses and apartments you presented? It seems to me that it was more than “let’s just talk about it” How much was the city charge for the mock-ups?

"But when the presentation included mock-ups of various residential developments replacing the athletic fields, it gave the impression that city staff had already charted a way forward.

sugarbee80
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October 09, 2012
cont

Poster boards drawn up by a consultant showed house and apartment arrangements in place of the iconic sports fields gifted to the city by the Ritter family in 1944.

According to the presentation, the athletics practices for youth teams at Tracy Ballpark could be moved to the Holly Sugar Sports Complex. Everyone would be happy.

Everyone except the many residents caught completely off guard by the proposal.

It even surprised the City Council. At least some members had no idea the rudimentary plans had been drawn up. The council understandably put the brakes on the process Tuesday.

Mr. Churchill what doesn't work is you trying to take a way a ball park from the citizens of Tracy and the organized sport teams that use it.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 09, 2012
It all comes down ta a bunch of people goin off half cocked about a suggestion or a proposal that was just that, a suggestion.

Nothin has been decided an it's gonna be awhile before somethiang is. Th process is startin an will work through just as it always does an probably endin up with nothin bein done very quickly as it has been fer well over 20 years now.

Too bad really since th ones who will suffer frum this th most are th children that still go without an probably will continue ta do without fer a long time ta come. Cartainly not in thair childhood.

I do agree with Rickman when he says, " “Tracy needs to provide a lot more things to do for families and their kids.” Th trouble is definin those thangs ta do fer th families an thair kids an then doin it whair everyone in town ta th lowest common denominator is 100% happy. Good luck on ever achievin that goal.

Already thair's been lots of talk over th years about this an very little action. Kind of like th song in th musical Music Man. "Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little, Cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more." Tracy it seems is not th first community in th US ta experience this problem. Long on talkin an pickin but very little in th way of accomplishment in this area.

sugarbee80

Ya are obviously operatin under a wrong notion.

We are talkin Sports Park an not an Aquatics Park. Yer mixin apples with oranges with yer comments regardin th Aquatics Park, how it's funded, an how it will be staged in its construction.

Th construction of th Youth Sports Park has an entirely different set of dynamics an fundin.

I thank that it's a shame when one's personal desires get in th way of providin all of th children th facilities they so desperately need fer thair recreation.

I never expected ta see "Everyone happy" as that is a factual impossibility. But ya do tell it exactly how it is an set yer priorities with yer statement, "Everyone except the many residents caught completely off guard by the proposal."

Note, it was a proposal, a suggestion. It didn't mean they were actually gonna do it an were actively open ta explorin other ideas.

Someone hired a consultant, an expert in this sort of thang, an this is th suggestion he came up with. Is that wrong? I personally don't thank so an welcome suggestions, proposals an ideas. That way everyone can look at it an hopefully th majority can agree on what course of action ta ultimately take.

"Mr. Churchill what doesn't work is you trying to take a way a ball park from the citizens of Tracy and the organized sport teams that use it."

While that is partially true at th end of th ordeal Tracy very well could be givin back much more than it has proposed ta away frum the citizens of Tracy and the organized sport teams that use it in a less expensive an timely fashion so that more citizens of Tracy an th organized sports teams can avail themselves of th same opportunity.

But ta make ya an yer neighbors happy, let's just leave thangs like they are an ignore th need of our citizens an organized sports teams who don't have enough facilities ta use while we wait even more years an a higher price tag ta complete th badly needed facilities out on th old Holly Sugar property. I am certain THAT will make everyone happy. Not really but hopefully ya get th point.

One wonders who th larger group of happy people are? Frum this article it appears they all live next ta th old Tracy Ball Park. Funny, I always thought th City should represent all th people that make up it citizens an not just th folks around an inadequate, old an expensive ta retrofit Ball Park that will still be inadequate if it's ever completely modernized. Th acreage just isn't large enough ta meet th need.

Granted, th new facility isn't large enough either but since th City owns most of th old Holly Sugar property an expansion thair would be much easier while an expansion at th present Ball Park is imposable.

Gonna be interesting ta see how this pans out, or rather not pans out as nothin continues ta get done as it has been fer 20 years or more.

aztec
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October 09, 2012
I tried to Stop the "Homeless Shelter" from opening on 27 W. Emerson Ave with Petitions with over 150 signatures, had a meeting with the City council members,planning commission and half the neighborhood on West Emerson. The City of Tracy including Council members ALL said, "according to the zoning you guys can't stop this and they don't need your permission to open this facility".

I hope this does not happen to the ball park. Unfortunately, Tracy will be the new Stockton and the City of Tracy will continue to be a disappointment.
Icare!
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October 10, 2012
Please City Of Tracy, clean up and fix what we already have, then start new projects when budgets allow. Look at the medians, sidewalk landscaping etc. around town, you make developers put all this in and then it's not maintained. You ask for more money from over two dozen landscape districts and those that don't approve get less than adequate upkeep, part of this town looks like crap. We had bad upkeep well before we voted it down in our neighborhood so why would we want to give you more money. Street light poles get knocked down and you don't replace them leaving very unsafe conditions at night, Shulte and Sycamore for example and other locations around town. Trees get knocked down, you don't replace them. Sidewalks buckle, takes forever to get them repaired if at all. Everybody has money issues but you have to learn to prioritize and don't build new stuff until you take care of what you already have. This town could be great but it's going the wrong way. By the way, you know the guy that hit the pole on Shulte near Sycamore, his pic was in the Press, make him pay for the pole, that would only be right for the taxpayer's in Tracy.
dcose
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October 10, 2012
Do you know what a Lighting/Landscape district is and how it operates? If the people living in that district do not want to pay the ongoing costs to maintain them do the rest of the city residents have to ?

We are broke because voters want politicians to make "it" work without understanding the mechanics...

I did my part and voted for you because you promised me "free stuff"... I don't care how you do it, just get it done.

We clearly see the results of that world wide.
Icare!
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October 10, 2012
I do but let's make it a citywide thing, why separate districts. The city's landscape should be maintained on a equal basis across town, heck we all drive through other areas and people certainly come through ours from all over town. Either maintain it at a 100% level, or a 80% level or whatever. When the whole town starts to look bad maybe we as a whole would cooperate and pay for what we want??? Let's fix and clean up what we already have before building new projects and spending more money we don't have. This is in response to dcose, there was no replay box under his comments.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
dcose

Ya didn't quite go fer enough in yer excellent description of th problem.

Ya touched it but didn't explain it.

"We are broke because voters want politicians to make "it" work without understanding the mechanics..."

Understandin th mechanics, how we got here an what can we legally do about it, is th biggest problem. It's sort of like fixin anythang. First ya gotta understand th problem before ya can attempt ta fix it. If ya don't yer just wastin yer time. An ya don't fix problems by just fixin th symptoms.

Don't have th exact law in mind but few people don't comprehend that monies ta do thangs can't just be used anywhare ya wanna use it.

Fer instance. If one landscape district voted ta raise their taxes so thair park could be better maintained an th city took that money ta make improvements in another park across town that would be illegal an expose th City ta costly litigation that I am quite certain a certain lawyer would just love ta take on as a case against th City.

Most people thank th City Budget looks an operates like their own personal family budget. It don't look or operate anythang like that. Thair are a myriad of laws that dictate what monies can be spent, how it's collected an how it is used ta fund thangs.

By law, money collected frum one group of citizens fer one purpose can't be used fer anything else.

If yer sidewalk buckles an ya live in a landscape district that voted not ta fund th district, yer sidewalk looks like crap an will remain lookin like crap cus thairs no money in that account ta fix it.

Th same is true fer trees, parks an lights.

If ya had bad service before ya voted it only means ya started off underfunded before. Question, if ya already were underfunded how do ya expect ta improve thangs by votin ta remain unfunded.

Th folks in th areas with th nicer parks a trees voted ta tax themselves more so thair homes would look better an be a better value.

Th folks that took th approach, "Well th City should fix it" an didn't provide th City th money ta do th job by votin ta raise thair own taxes now have parks, sidewalks an trees that look th way they do taday.

Th point here is they all had a chance ta make a positive change fer th better an decided it was just too dang expensive. As a result, as they were informed before they voted what th outcome would be, things in their neighborhoods look like crap.

Ya wanted ta believe yer City was rippin ya off an ya only succeeded in rippin yerselves off.

Know how a residential park gets built? Who provides th money, th citizens or th developer? Th city don't becus th only money it gets is frum a developer or th citizens.

Th answer it it comes frum developer monies. That builds it.

How is it maintained? Yes th city does th work but who pays fer it? Should th guy on th opposite side of town that gets no benefit frum th park pay ta have it maintained? Or should th people who live around it, th neighbors, pay fer it? After all, how it looks affects how yer children play on it an how it affects yer property values.

So when ya don't vote ta raise those taxes fer landscaping an lightin in yer area who are ya punishin? Th City that ya won't give th money ta so they can maintain yer residential park or yerself?

Note I didn't say community park. Community parks, like th present Ball Park, are funded differently right out of a portion of th general fund set aside fer that type of maintenance an improvement. What it means that everyone pays inta that fund. Ergo, unlike a residential park those parks really belong ta everyone in th City an not just th neighbors who normally would be payin inta a landscape an lightin district fer park maintenance an improvement.

In short, both types of parks are built and funded differently cus even though th City manages all th money th money fer parks is specifically earmarked by law on how it can be collected an used.

I hear yer cry fer th City ta clean up thangs. It's a good one an I understand it. But it's not gonna be responded ta if ya don't give th money, in th way of taxin yerself, ta enable th job ta get done.

Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
Icare!

Ya asked a good question, "why separate districts?"

Th answer is very easy. That's what th voters when it was all set up wanted. It's what they voted ta do.

I sorta agree with ya that it should be equal all across town but that too is gonna have ta be approved by th voters.

So one LLD has it's residents taxin themselves at somewhare around $200 or more per year an other LLDs are basically not taxin thair residents much of anythang an consequently thair parks look like crap.

Now we come along, say everyone's equal an put all th money inta one pot.

Sounds easy but what about th folks that paid all along an have nice parks versus th folks that didn't pay much of anythang an have crappy parks as a result.

Whair will th preponderance of th new maintenance occur? Th crappy parks that have been left ta go ta seed or th nice parks that have been maintained?

Then thairs th problem of continued fundin. Since th price of everythang is goin up an has been since I have been alive, th folks payin th current higher rate might get a little knocked off their taxes. But they are in th minority really an th bigger problem suddenly looms up in that th folks that haven't been taxin themselves at th higher rate are suddently gonna have ta start payin that higher rate so th monies are thair ta be used when it's necessary.

Considerin all of th outrage people have over increased taxes do ya honestly thank that's going to fly any better than a lead filled balloon?

Can ya start ta see now complex all of this really is an that thair ain't no easy slam dunk fixes ta it?

An remember, all of this was previously voted on an approved by th voters. Th City didn't do it, th voters did an th City is just doin what it can with what th voters have given it.

Sadly thair ain't no magic wand that can be waved ta make it all go away an make it right.
Icare!
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October 10, 2012
Eventually the little a-holes in town will screw up even the nice parks and the drunks and uninsured will keep knocking down poles and trees and all will be equal across town anyway!
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 10, 2012
Icare!

"Eventually the little a-holes in town will screw up even the nice parks and the drunks and uninsured will keep knocking down poles and trees and all will be equal across town anyway!"

They will if we allow em to.

No, it will never be equal across town an honestly I don't thank that sensible people would really want it to if ya really thank about it.

Personally I ain't ready ta throw in th towel an will keep on tryin ta make improvements whair I can.

But believe me when I tell ya I understand yer frustration with it.

Thanks fer yer comments an questions.

Icare!
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October 11, 2012
You are right, we can't give up!
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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October 11, 2012
icare

I agree, we can't or at least shouldn't give up. Ya see, I to care.


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