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West Sacramento News-Ledger

$2.4 Million of Park Space in Question

Jun 11, 2024 09:40AM ● By Angela Underwood, photos by Angela Underwood

Councilmember Dawnte Early shares her parking concerns at the June 5 meeting when considering the purchase of parkland.

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - City officials are considering a $2.4-million parkland purchase. 

Parks and Recreation director Kate Smith explained to city officials at the June 5 council meeting why the purchase of 1.2-acre property on 2286 Del Monte St. is significant due to its adjacency to 1100 Clarendon St., 26.5 acres of green space and parkland currently owned and used by Washington Unified School District (WUSD).

Kate Smith Washington Unified School District

 Parks and Recreation Director Kate Smith presents city officials with the possibility of purchasing park space adjacent to 26 acres currently owned by the Washington Unified School District.

Smith explained the understanding the city made with the district in 2018 to construct and maintain recreation and park space through a Joint Use Facilities Agreement with Washington Unified School District.

"It will allow the city to renovate that space and offer it to the public and residents," Smith said.

Del Monte Street has a parking lot and a single-story, 12,000-square-foot industrial building once approved for a failed cannabis manufacturing facility. Smith said officials plan to conduct a feasibility study to see if the facility can be used for indoor recreation.

According to a staff report, the purchase stems from the 2019 Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Master Plan, which includes five acres of park space per 1,000 residents. Due to its deficiency of parkland, with only 3.68 acres of park space per 1,000, West Sacramento must purchase a minimum of 110 acres by 2028 to meet the goal of five acres per 1,000 residents.

Councilmember Norma Alcala asked if residents know about the $2.4-million purchase, including $250,000 of Park Impact Fee Funds, a 10% down payment.

"Do we hold something to make the public aware of this purchase," Alcala asked.

Smith said the city was only aware of the privately owned Del Monte Street property sale in April. 

"We came to the city in closed session on May 1," Smith said, adding real estate dealings were delayed until that night.

Like Alcala, Councilmember Dawnte Early wanted to clarify some items for the "public that may not see or understand" the staff report detailing the purchase and project of the 26 acres referenced in the 2019 Parks and Recreation Open Space Master Plan.

Councilmember Early noted the absence of parking at the 26 acres. She acknowledged parking in the private residential development with other public members when attending her sons’ sports events on the sports fields. However, purchasing the property could entail needed egress and parking into the park space.

"I think it is really important to talk about the potential that this purchase would be," Early said.

Mayor Martha Guererro asked what would happen if the council did not turn over the needed $250,000 Park Impact Fee funds to proceed with the proposed plans, which Smith explained would be a $120,000 risk at this point in the game. 

Resident Danielle Langford rose for public comment, saying she has concerns "especially for the $120,000 if we back out." Two questions are why it has not been discussed publicly and whether the railroad tracks will be removed.

"I have a problem with our city being in the real estate business," Langford said.

The mayor made it clear when looking at revenue sources to consider the county. Officials have until Dec. 31 to continue studying the site and possible plans.