Subdivision or tree preserve?

By: Miguel Ucovich, Loomis Town Council member
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Should the Heritage Park Subdivision be changed from a subdivision of homes with a park, to a tree preserve? The Loomis Town Council will decide at its Feb.14 meeting. If it is remains as a subdivision and park, the positive effects are $10,000 a year for the fire district, based on the parcel tax; 40 homes in downtown on existing approved land; a neighborhood park funded from fees collected from each home; all improvements – including a required road – funded from private development; and $8 million added to the property tax rolls from the new homes that will support schools and other public services. The Town would also get back the $330,000 it paid for the property upon selling the subdivision. If it becomes a tree preserve, trees could be planted and the public could come and have a passive park. Nature trails, wildlife viewing and seeing the trees grow would be the features of the park. School children could come on field trips. The cost of development and maintenance would be paid by the Town of Loomis. Estimates to get the land ready is around $100,000 and it would cost about $5,000 a year to maintain it. These costs would come out of the Town’s tree mitigation fund. Heritage Park Subdivision is at the end of Walnut and runs along Interstate 80 down to Stonegate Road. It is behind the dirt berm as you enter the freeway at Horseshoe Bar Road. Years ago, the property was a Christmas tree farm with a small pond on it. About 10 years ago, the Town of Loomis obtained the landaround the pond and increased the size of the pond at a cost of $80,000. At the same time, the owner of the remaining land developed a subdivision map with about 60 homes. The subdivision was never built and the land reverted back to a note holder. By this time the subdivision was redesigned for 40 homes with a neighborhood park. The note holder sold the property to the Town of Loomis for $330,000. A new proposal has now been presented to turn this property into a tree and wetland preserve. The land could handle between 200 to 300 trees. These trees would be planted from the tree mitigation fund that the Town has collected from trees that been cut down. The Park, Recreation and Open Space Committee recommended this property become a tree park at their January meeting. I would like to know you what you think. Come to the Feb. 14 Council meeting or contact me at 652-0956. Miguel Ucovich is a Loomis Town Council Member