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San Joaquin County supervisors to consider selling land to improve parks

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Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:43 am, Wed Jan 12, 2011.

San Joaquin County's Parks and Recreation Commission wants to preserve 200 acres of land southeast of Galt for a park to serve the northeastern part of the county, but the Board of Supervisors has other ideas.

The board accepted a staff recommendation on Tuesday to subdivide the 200 acres northeast of Dustin and Liberty roads into five 40-acre parcels with the idea of someday selling the property.

Supervisors agreed that if the county sells all or part of the land, revenue from the sale would be dedicated toward constructing a new park elsewhere in the county or improving existing parks.

"I would urge you not to do this," Park Commissioner Mary Mitracos, of Tracy, told the board.

Commissioner Mary Fuhs, of Acampo, added, "I think we have a duty to develop a park there."

In a related action, the Board of Supervisors extended an agreement with Azevedo Livestock to continue renting the property for cattle grazing at a cost to Azevedo of $3,000 per year.

Azevedo has grazed the land for more than five years. The lease was due to expire on Sept. 30, but it will be extended until Sept. 30, 2012. The county can terminate the agreement prior to the lease expiration with six months written notice.

Mike Guttridge Realty estimates the value of the rolling terrain at $3,000 per acre, or $600,000 for the entire property, according to county Facilities Management Director Gabe Karam.

But if the county subdivides the land, the value increases to about $250,000 per parcel for a total property value of $1.25 million, Karam said.

County Administrator Manuel Lopez said the issue of whether to sell the property won't be determined until it returns to the Board of Supervisors in the spring of 2012.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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