Just a few short years ago Turlock had a reputation as being business-unfriendly, with onerous regulations and poor customer service driving developers away.
But things have turned around, developers say, and the City of Turlock's Development Collaborative Advisory Committee is the reason.
“I would credit this group for a good part of the successes of our city over the past couple of years,” Mayor John Lazar said to the committee. “Through your efforts, we've kind of turned things around in Turlock.”
The nine-member city commission meets regularly with one goal in mind: improving the business climate for Turlock developers and businesses. With architects, builders, and business representatives on the board, each commissioner brings a unique perspective to the DCAC.
The DCAC's feedback has been helpful to Turlock, City Manager Roy Wasden said, as the professionals offer an outside perspective of city government.
“Oftentimes we think we're doing things right, but we're often insular,” Wasden said. “... We think this is something that’s going to help going forward.”
In the past year, the DCAC has made recommendations on city parking policies, capital facility fees, construction requirements, entitlements, and the building division appeal process.
On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council was so pleased with the DCAC's efforts that they voted unanimously to extend the commission's term indefinitely. Since its 2007 founding, the DCAC had been a temporary commission, with annual extensions of the commission's term keeping the board active.
Commissioners said they will continue to work on improving customer service and attracting businesses and economic development to Turlock.
“We just want to make sure that Turlock stays on the same playing field as our surrounding communities, and that we keep looking forward to trying to get new businesses,” said commissioner Robert Fernandes.