Manteca Residents Say Fire Station Lawn Poses Hazard

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Manteca residents in the Del Webb community are frustrated with a nearby fire station lawn, saying that the city doesn’t have to comply with the same standards they do.

“That’s what Manteca citizens are paying for? I don’t think so!” said Manteca resident Esther Mack.

Mack lives across from the Lathrop Road fire station. The city planted fescue grass at the station last year so save on maintenance costs. Esther thinks the agency who is supposed to focus on saving people is now posing a threat.

“If there’s a fire, who’s gonna go first? Me! I’m on the corner. That fire house is going to go up, so forget them putting it out,” said Mack.

Kevin Fant, Manteca’s Parks and Recreation Director said the grass itself is not dry and he wouldn’t consider it a fire hazard. He said the grass is drought tolerant and reduces lawn maintenance by more than half, which saves the taxpayer money. He also said the Parks and Recreation Department recently lost about 50% of their staff.

Lillian Gabbert also lives across the street from the fire station and says there are other ways the city can save money.

“I would think they’d put in dry rocks or a desert thing. There’s other ways to solve that [problem],” said Gabbert.

Money and safety are not the only concerns.

Homeowners of the Del Webb community said there are “aesthetic” standards their lawns have to meet. They’re frustrated the city doesn’t have to follow the same rules.

“Looks like a haunted house,” said Mack.

“Everyone else has to have everything in place all the time. Then you look over there and it’s like…where are we living?” said Gabbert.

The city said for some reason the fescue on Lathrop Road does have excessive seed-heads, which they plan to mow in the next week.

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