Those planning parties for Turlock's Crane Park beware – a new set of rules now govern the park's usage.
The rules, which took effect March 1, were drafted in response to a slew of neighbors' complaints that Crane Park was overused, too noisy, and left a mess by non-stop parties.
“I know this was a big issue,” said Turlock Parks, Recreation, and Community Programs Chairman Barney Gordon. “I'm sure the community around Crane Park is going to appreciate the efforts.”
The Parks, Recreation, and Community Programs Commission first heard of the concerns at a special July 2012 meeting held to discuss siting a bocce ball court at the park. Neighbors vehemently opposed the proposal, arguing the park was already extremely overused with tennis, basketball, horseshoes, a playground, and constant weekend parties.
The biggest change in the new rules is a restriction in the amount and type of bounce houses – one of the main sources of noise.
Now, only three bounce houses will be permitted at any one time in Crane Park. Permits will cost $35, and will only be available to those who rent bounce houses from one of two City of Turlock-authorized vendors, who have liability insurance which covers the city.
Also, all bounce houses must be inflated with quieter, electric blowers. Both authorized vendors say they can provide electric blowers for their bounce houses.
The change should make it easier for nearby residents to know what is and is not allowed, city staff said. Though Turlock plans to proactively enforce the new rules, neighbors will now be able to call in non-conforming bounce houses to the Turlock Police Department for prompt enforcement.
“Our plan is to get out early and deal with the problems early on so they don't become an issue in July,” said City of Turlock Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Superintendent Erik Schulze.
Also prohibited is the use of amplified sound without a permit. Those permits would only be granted in special occasions, Schulze said, such as for a mid-day city band performance.
And vendors will not be allowed to “announce” or “call attention to” their wares, banning the constant bell ringing from ice cream and chicharrones vendors.
A new handout explicitly lays out the various rules governing use of the park, as well as common Turlock park rules banning littering, off-leash dogs, bottles, and firearms.
“It all seems like things that would be a no brainer for most of us,” Shulze said.