TURLOCK -- People who live near Crane Park took advantage of a public hearing on a proposed bocce ball court to vent their concerns about activities that already take up much of the park most weekends.
Now the city's parks and recreation staff is reviewing the park rules, considering changes in how they are written and enforced.
"One of the neighbors said it's like a party every weekend he's not invited to," said Erik Schulze, a recreation supervisor for the city.
Residents had been invited to a July public hearing at the park conducted by the Parks and Recreation Commission to discuss a proposal by the Rotary Club to build bocce ball courts there.
Several neighbors spoke in opposition to the idea, saying that the park already is overused and there's not enough parking, so nearby streets and driveways get clogged with the overflow. They cited concerns about safety with ice cream trucks trolling for business along crowded streets, as well as amplified music and noise from bounce house generators.
Schulze said city staff welcomed the remarks, and that the issues raised are legitimate.
"We hope they continue to voice their concerns," he said.
Turlock's municipal code prohibits amplified music; Schulze said staff is working with police to enforce that ordinance.
"Sometimes, it's just a matter of making contact with the renter," he said.
City seeking solutions
Staff is planning to come up with regulations by the spring. Among the possibilities is moving bounce houses from the side of the park that faces homes to the other side, along Canal Drive, which faces the Turlock Unified School District office across a canal.
City officials will look into providing electrical hookups at the park, which would accommodate quieter and more environmentally friendly power for bounce houses than the gas generators used.
Schulze said the neighbors who have come forward aren't against typical park noise, nor are they trying to stop people from having parties there.
"Those generators might run for eight hours," he said. "And they're louder than a lawn mower."
Bee staff writer Patty Guerra can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2343.