Crane Park resident Dan Palmquist says living across the street from Turlock’s most-used recreation area is like coming home after a hard week of work to see and hear a party that lasts all weekend, every weekend — only he is never invited to it. Another recreational amenity, a proposed bocce ball court, he says, would only make that on-going party bigger.
The City of Turlock Parks and Recreation Commission voted to oppose the construction of a bocce ball court at Crane Park, much to the delight of dozens of area residents who attended a public meeting Wednesday night to protest the project.
After voting not to support it being built at the Crane Park location at this time, the commission passed a motion to table the project until more research could be completed on a suitable location — which could still include Crane Park — although highly unlikely given the amount of opposition at Wednesday’s meeting.
The bocce ball court was a project brought to Parks and Rec by the Rotary Club of Turlock. Rotarian Mike Dini told the packed meeting that Crane Park was selected for the bocce ball court project because Rotary wished to increase exposure for bocce ball and to provide a permanent asset to the community. He also noted the long-term hope for Rotary was to build future bocce ball courts at other locations in town.
But Crane Park area residents weren’t receptive of those plans, although they remained very complimentary of Rotary’s idea.
“No one is questioning the value of a bocce ball court and, as a community, we are grateful to Rotary for all they do, but it is just one more thing in an already crowded park. The open space is already used by jump houses and volleyball and soccer. There just isn’t any room; it is a faulty assumption,” said Stan Grant, a Crane Park area resident of 16 years.
“I’ve lived here 24 years and the noise, traffic congestion and the use of alcohol has increased to the point it has become overwhelming. This is ridiculous to put it here when there are other parks in town that are much larger,” said Irene Jaureguy.
Dini said Rotary choose Crane because it is a community park, instead of just a neighborhood park. A community parks includes public restrooms. Donnelly Park and Crane Park are the only community parks in Turlock. A possible point of conflict for a bocce ball court at Donnelly Park is the current proposal to build a disc golf course at the 40-acre location.
Several members of the Parks and Recreation Commission heralded the residents’ input and encouraged them to continue following the project, as well as others in the city.