Have ideas for the future development of Turlock’s downtown? Then be sure to pencil in Thursday’s community workshop meeting put on by the City’s planning department as they consider taller buildings in downtown for residential purposes.
With a focus on future design and growth, the interactive community workshop will allow Turlock residents to discuss with planning officials how new development might look in the downtown area.
In 2012, the City Council adopted an updated General Plan which includes a program that will review whether or not the City should look into promoting residential development in the downtown area.
During Thursday’s workshop, the City will begin to investigate the possibility of adding residential development to Turlock’s downtown by increasing housing opportunities within the district. To add housing downtown, however, the City may need to consider altering the height limits on existing buildings to integrate high-rise development.
“One of the ways we can do that is by increasing the height limit in a relatively confined area of the downtown zoning districts, immediately adjacent to the Downtown Core,” said Planning Director Debbie Whitmore.
According to Whitmore, an increased height limit would not be applied universally to the entire area but rather a very limited portion of the downtown to avoid disrupting existing single family residential neighborhoods.
Currently, the Downtown Core, which includes the Main Street strip, has a 60-foot height limit while other areas of the downtown have a 35-foot height limit.
While the City recently amended the citywide ordinance to allow high-density residential districts to have a height limit of 40-feet rather than 35-feet, the updated General Plan would see a height limit of possibly as tall as 60-feet in limited downtown areas that are outside of the core.
“The workshop on Thursday will examine how development can be designed to avoid disrupting existing neighborhoods,” said Whitmore. “If it looks like there is general consensus on the standards, we may also go so far as trying to solicit input on where the taller height limits might apply.”
The height limits and standards that will be discussed at Thursday’s meeting will ultimately be suggested to the Turlock Planning Commission who will pass their recommendations on to the City Council as the matter continues to move forward.
The Community Workshop on the Future of Turlock’s Downtown will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday at City Hall, located at 156 S. Broadway.