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City proposes a brand new zoning code
downtown pic
An increase in the height limit for downtown businesses is one of the zoning changes that is being proposed by City staff. - photo by Journal file photo

As towns expand and evolve so do the rules that guide development.

The City of Turlock is in the process of repealing the city's Zoning Ordinance in its entirety and instating citywide changes that will affect permitting requirements for uses, development standards, and permitting processes in all zoning districts

“The times change and the community’s values change,” said City Planner Rose Stillo. “It’s kind of like a freshening up to reflect today’s climate.”

Over the past three to four years the City has received concerns from residents and local businesses regarding zoning regulations, and in an effort to collectively address the diverse issues the City staff has proposed a complete overhaul of the City’s Zoning Ordinance.

Some of the new rules include prohibiting mobile food trucks in the downtown area, as well as changing permitting processes. For instance, the requirements for smaller expansions of nonconforming uses and structures, if approved, will require a minor discretionary permit instead of a conditional use permit. Therefore, applicants may only need to interface with city staff for approval rather than appearing before the Turlock Planning Commission.

Other changes include an increase in height limit for the Office Residential and Industrial Residential zoning districts as well as a reduction in landscaping requirements. The new Zoning Ordinance will also address new issues that have cropped up with the establishment of the Turlock Regional Industrial Park, such as a resident that requested the establishment of an electric fence.

“This is something that, if the proper conditions are met, we can address,” said Stillo.

On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council will decide if it will repeal and replace the current Zoning Ordinance or postpone the item to the Jan. 13, 2015 city council meeting.

Also on the agenda for Tuesday:

·         - The Council will consider accepting the Convention and Visitors Bureau 2015 budget for the amount of $249,235.00; and

·         - Consider approving a memorandum of understanding with the Stanislaus Business Alliance to continue to coordinate workforce development.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.