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Will the view kill property values?

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Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 10:00 pm

Within two weeks or so, up to 500 unused railroad cars will be parked indefinitely along the entire length of Kennefick Road in Acampo - all the way from the Mokelumne River to the Sacramento County line at Dry Creek.

Central California Traction, which owns the railroad line along Kennefick Road, has a surplus of rail cars, used to carry lumber, because of the economic slowdown, said Dave Buccolo, the company's general manager.

Four or five property owners on the east side of Kennefick who don't have a permit from the traction company face having their driveways blocked by the line of cars or paying an estimated $10,000 for Central California Traction to build an asphalt crossing over the tracks and add signage, Buccolo said.

Several property owners with gravel driveways have permits, so they don't have to worry about having their driveways being blocked, he said.

"We are not going to block any of those driveways without talking to somebody there," Buccolo said.

However, at least one couple isn't sure whether they have a permit or not. Judy Stagno and Greg Rosato, who live on Kennefick Road south of Jahant Road, said they hadn't heard about the train plans until they saw a two-car train going south along the tracks ripping, out trees and shrubs on Tuesday afternoon.

The train, known as an "extractor," has a huge, mechanical claw that grabs trees and rips them out.

An extractor, a machine used for removing vegetation, grinds down a tree in seconds Tuesday on the railroad tracks along Kennefick Road. (Brian Feulner/News-Sentinel)

"Property values are going down as it is," Stagno said. "Who's going to want to buy this house with this view?"

The couple, like others on Kennefick Road, will have a view of rail cars out their front window.

Stagno and Rosato said they didn't ask about a permit when they moved to their current residence 10 years ago because trains hadn't run on the tracks since September 1998.

Rosato added that transients, who occasionally walk along Kennefick Road, may end up living in the rail cars and commit crimes in what is now a quiet rural neighborhood.

"It's very upsetting," said Julia Priest, who lives on the west side of Kennefick Road and is a former News-Sentinel Panorama editor. "My worry is my property value while this is going on. A pastoral country environment will now be essentially a railroad yard."

Rosato added, "The thing I don't understand is that they didn't send any notices to tell what they were doing."

Buccolo admits he wasn't sure how to contact residents affected by the plan, but added the tracks are the property of Central California Traction and not the homeowners.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

Central California Traction at a glance

Stockton-based Central California Traction provides freight service five days a week from Stockton to Pacific Coast Producers and other companies in Lodi's industrial area east of Highway 99. The traction line also goes west to the Port of Stockton.

The company was originally a second streetcar line for Stockton in 1905. Electronic passenger train service from Stockton to Lodi began in 1907 in competition with Southern Pacific Railroad. Three years later, the line reached Sacramento.

The traction line still has tracks going from Lodi north across the Mokelumne River via a 1905 concrete arch bridge. However, trains don't currently cross the Mokelumne.

Two-thirds of the traction company is owned by Union Pacific Railroad, while the remainder is owned by Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad.

The company can be reached at 466-6927.

Source: Central California Traction Co

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  • posted at 3:38 pm on Fri, Feb 13, 2009.


    Since tagging is now an ART that is taught, call this the Acampo School Of Creative Art, and let the taggers attend class daily for credit.

  • posted at 6:02 am on Fri, Feb 13, 2009.


    Snowdog53We used to put pennies on the tracks or nails. Always got a wave and a blast of the horn from the engineer.Then the hobos as we called them were more than willing to work for food. Not sure I would do that now.

  • posted at 5:58 am on Fri, Feb 13, 2009.


    As Sam said they rent the property next to theirs to keep this kind of problem from happening. It used to be and maybe someone can help me out here, if someone used a portion of your property as a road they could claim a right of way to that road after so many years if it wasn't disputed.I know it's no consolation but the Roseville railyard is going to have hundreds if not thousands of cars stored there. My guess is this is happening in a lot of places. They have more cars than room. My heart goes out to you.

  • posted at 5:47 am on Fri, Feb 13, 2009.


    Having lived on Kenefick very near this couple and across the road from the tracks, someone should have disclosed the fact the the CCT had a right of way and in having that right of way can do what they want. There should have been a disclosure by the seller or the real estate agent regarding the driveway crossing the tracks or what the railroad may do with their property. If someone built a driveway across the tracks without CCT's permission they are in violation of the right of way. cont'd

  • posted at 5:30 am on Fri, Feb 13, 2009.


    But to continue on I would like to remind people that in the late 1990's there was talk of having a large canal for water to travel from Sac. down Kenefick Rd. between the road and the tracks to finally end up somewhere for BayArea residents. There has been talk of having a Prison built out in the Area of Kenefick and Jahant roads. So I'm not surprised that now there gonna park old not used trains on Kenefick. When I drive by now the place I grew up in just doesn't look the same the 35 various fruit and nut trees we had have been removed and as I drive down the street I see very nice homes much different from the farm houses of my youth. While the trains may block the view of the street , the best view I remember was still looking East on a clear day and seeing the Sierra Mountain ranges with all their Snow covered peaks. Boxcars could block your views but lumbar cars should't remember you moved out there for fresh air , for elbow room and guess what you have it.

  • posted at 5:09 am on Fri, Feb 13, 2009.


    My parents bought property on Kenefick Rd, south of Jahant rd. in 1963. They were made aware of the C.C.T. co. owning the tracks and at that time thru the 1990's they were trains traveling by twice a day. It was a part of the fun growing up on a farm with railroad tracks in front of it. I have fond memories of waving at the crews as they passed by our house and them giving a few short toots on their whistles. I recall the inspection crews traveling the rails in their trucks to look at rails and wood ties that needed to be changed out. They gave us the used rails which we pulled behind our 1939 Minneapolis Moline Tractor to level our fields, and used wood ties which we used for fence posts. But in the late 1990's they stopped running the trains and also stopped doing any upkeep on their lines in this area. My parents sold their farm in 1999 and moved to Lodi. Trains traveling by are fun , trains parked out front are not.

  • posted at 5:00 pm on Thu, Feb 12, 2009.


    sam wrote "It will just attract vandals, meth labs, the homeless, teen parties, etc..."With all the jobs lost and foreclosures they may see whole families move into those rail cars. It's better than being under a bridge.

  • posted at 4:58 pm on Thu, Feb 12, 2009.


    If these folks think they're going to win this fight, they're digging themselves into a deeper hole than they think. The railroad has been there for 100 years and own the property outright. The CCT is NOT hurting financially, they are 2/3rd owned by UP and if the UP says they need to store cars there, guess what: They'll store cars there. You're not going to win a battle of wits with these two companies, I guarantee it. Typical of the small town Lodi attitude, we'll move in next to the tracks and complain about it when they see a train. What is it about having a railroad track nearby gave those folks the idea that they were there soley for decoration anyway? If it was the realtor, go cry to them.

  • posted at 2:19 pm on Thu, Feb 12, 2009.


    Oh Bull missed a crucial point. the tracks are OWNED by the CCT, the cars are owned by Union Pacific, UP is Leasing the track space to store these cars from CCT.The bottom line, this line was NEVER abandoned. These people bought these homes knowing the tracks were there, if their Realtor lied to them about the status of the tracks, then that is their fault for not doing their homework.Note, don't let my acronym fool you, I am not a CCT Employee nor am I associated with them. I am simply familiar with them.

  • posted at 10:18 am on Thu, Feb 12, 2009.


    People, these are FLAT cars. Do yourself a favor and google what they look like. Homeless people will not live on them, and hopefully the methheads aren't stupid enough to build a lab in plain sight of the police.

  • posted at 3:18 pm on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    So let me get this straight, Greg and Judy are worried about the value of their home. Is it for sale?

  • posted at 11:07 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    It is not the view, or lack of one, that I would worry about. It is the idea of 500 abandoned railroad cars next to my house the would be frightening. It will just attract vandals, meth labs, the homeless, teen parties, etc...We rent the land (for over 50 years) next to our vineyard that is owned by the traction line to prevent the traction line from placing unwanted "junk" next to us. However we have no control over what they place "on" the tracks.What a nightmare. I wish you all well and a workable solution.

  • posted at 9:54 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    If the cars are not going to be used why doesn't the traction company Scrap them for money. Think of all the steel. Would be less liabilty for them also. Also look at the old tracks that used to be through Lockeford/Clements. Now the tracks are gone and all landowners have bought the extra property. If the Traction company is having a hard time Scrap the cars and sell the land.

  • posted at 7:24 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    the railroad has been there for 100 plus years. they can do whatever they want with it until the day they abandon the right of way. so if they want to park cars on it, well that is there decision. there was talk years ago to redo the track up to woodbridge road to shuttle mondovi's wine back and forth across the river, but that did not happen. so all you can do is learn to accept it.

  • posted at 6:54 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    From the pic on the front page of the LNS, it appears the tracks are across the street from the houses in question. Since it looks like a no-win situation for the home owners, and the rail cars will be parked there indefinitly, plant some trees as on the front page of the NS this morning. These rail cars were built to transport finished lumber with a steel beam in the middle, otherwise flat with a slight inward bend and open, not like a box car and cannot offer any shelter, tagging--- sooner or later.

  • posted at 5:59 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    Sounds like "Airport Syndrome" to me! The airport was there before the homes, but knowing that, people bought anyway. Now they file complaints on the noise. As was so elequently stated in a previous comment.....DUH !!!

  • posted at 5:43 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    Actually rr tracks are not like streets in that they are not public, they are private and not subject to local ordinances like streets are. They do park railcars for long periods on sidings all over the place, just most the time they aren't in someone's front yard.

  • posted at 5:06 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    If you equate that having a railroad track in front of your house means you should not be surprised or upset to have old rail cars parked there indefinately, then anyone living on a street should not be upset if someone were to park abandoned junk cars all along that as well. Obviously a rail track is meant for MOVING cars, not necessarily STORED cars, just like a steet.

  • posted at 3:57 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    Security will be a concern however... the ownership of the tracks should be considering this issue,from that standpoint, as we all know what kind of element likes to be in those railcars.

  • posted at 3:50 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    Oh well.... I'm sure those tracks were there when they bought those homes.Eminent Domain is a hard pill to swallow.

  • posted at 2:21 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    DUH!!!!!Do a real story for a change LNS!!!!!!!

  • posted at 2:20 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    If I had property by railroad tracks, yes, I would expect trains to be MOVING along them, but not PARKED indefinitely on them. Isn't that what train yards are for? I would be much less concerned about eyesore factor than the crime element sitting empty railroad cars could attract.

  • posted at 2:08 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    This sounds like a "Taggers Heaven and a Homeless Heaven"! Glad that is NOT happening here, and I feel bad for the homeowners who are being made to Pay a HUGE sum for the asphalt section. Their road will be BLOCKED by the railroad cars anyways so why pay the $10,000.00 in the first place?

  • posted at 2:04 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    IF I were unfortunate enough to own property along this stretch I think I would purchase surveilence cameras for the portion infront of my home. I'd encourage neighbors to do the same and anyone doing a no-no would have thier footage sent to the local police.It's either that or form a vigilante gang of owners to taser those taggers and pour paint all over them.

  • posted at 1:36 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    This article totally missed the point! Duh, the tracks were there years before many of these properties, but that's not the issue. What are they going to do in regards to security? They have every right to park their train cars there. However, this opens a can of worms for gangs and graffiti. You can see their fine handy-work up and down Kennefick Rd on the old abandoned wharehouses. Security should be their number 1 priority and they have failed until they have address this issue. Also, why couldn't the railroad send fliers to the homes to let them know what is going on without residents having to ask the workers (it's called good public relations).

  • posted at 1:34 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    There has to be value there if it is going to drop. I mean I wouldn't want to go out there and buy meth if I saw those rail cars either

  • posted at 1:26 am on Wed, Feb 11, 2009.


    Hey, the tracks are on the property deed map. I always get a kick out of these stories where come-lately property owners are indignant about the airport, railroad, freeway, refinery, etc that was ALREADY THERE before the homes were built and ALREADY THERE when they bought the place. ...Caveat Emptor as far as i am concerned.About all they can do is sue somebody and probably not win- just pay lawyers.

  • posted at 9:06 pm on Tue, Feb 10, 2009.


    I can understand the residents concerns. However, the fact that there are railroad tracks in the front yards of these homes should be a clue that someday a train may come down those tracks?



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