City sign misses mark



A new sign at the northern entrance to Sonora has some nearby neighbors worried about their children's safety.

The sign, which reads "Northgate Park" in bold, white letters and also has the municipal seal on it, was put up about two weeks ago in a landscaped area the city developed between Highway 49 and Northcam Plaza, where the Salvation Army, an auto service center, car wash and service station do business.

At the end of her 2002 term as mayor, Sonora Councilwoman Liz Bass suggested the name as a way to let citizens and visitors know that the city is committed to beautification. She also envisioned the area as a northern entrance or gateway to the city.

But the sign has caused an unexpected problem.

"The day the sign went up, we had a car stop us asking us where the park is," said Rachael Champe, who lives on Pesce Way west of Northcam Plaza. "They see the sign and assume there's a park back here. We have a lot of tourists going up and down (Highway) 49."

Only a couple of people have actually stopped Champe and asked for directions to the "park," but she said traffic has increased on her cul-de-sac, and she sees drivers acting as if they are looking for a park.

Champe and her husband have two children, Ethan, 2, and Hunter, 4. They are among four families on Pesce Way. Four more families live on Steffen Lane, off Pesce Way. Champe said the families combined have about 15 children younger than 10 who play in the area.

"We already have a lot of traffic back here," she said, adding that a change in wording to "business park" might resolve the problem of people looking for a nonexistent park.

"I haven't heard a thing," Bass said when told of the concerns. "I regret that. It wasn't the intent at all."

But she understands the neighbors' worry. "If anyone up there has an idea, I'm open to suggestions," Bass said.

The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Monday October 24, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Paying the price


Chris Lusardi, of Sonora, is one of thousands of Tuolumne County residents ... more

Columbia Elementary board ousts superintendent


Five days after receiving a 2 percent raise, Columbia Union School District ... more

New oak disease spreads from coast to foothills


A deadly fungus killing oak trees along the coasts of central and ... more

Mudslide knocks out a portion of TUD’s ditch system


The Columbia ditch will be closed until Saturday, following a mudslide that ... more

Battle for cannabis regulation in Calaveras wages on


Strong opinions and loud accusations have made the battle over cannabis cultivation ... more