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Lodi residents say new track forces them to trespass | News

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Lodi residents say new track forces them to trespass
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Hopping over the fence has been a common practice as of late at Lodi High School. The gates to the campus track get locked after school hours -- keeping nearby residents out.

"It's kind of a hassle, you got to hop the fence," Lodi resident and coach Tim Fua said.

Fua has trained local shot put and discus throwers on the track field for years. But, access became an issue a few months ago. When the new track was installed in November, a new fence went up with it – fully enclosing the facility.

"We're avid throwers, and I train a ton of kids throughout the year, so it's either this or I have to drive to Brentwood," Fua said.

While the fence has kept some out, others are opting to trespass to get in their workout.

Lodi Unified School District officials said they are complying with state law by keeping people out. The district said allowing unsupervised people to get on campus would be a liability issue.

Athletic groups that want to use the track need to submit a facility use permit and pay a fee. This rule wasn't enforced before because residents were able to freely enter, assistant superintendent of business services Tim Hern said.

"I would have thought that if they were going to enclose it, that they should have done it when it was more of a hazard," said resident Liz Leamon, who used to run the track. "It's definitely more user friendly now than it was before."

The district is looking at options to make the grounds more accessible to residents.

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