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Commissioners discuss container restrictions
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The Turlock Planning Commission’s efforts to draft a citywide ordinance governing the use of cargo containers continued on Thursday, as commissioners considered possible restrictions for the use of containers in commercial zoning districts.
Containers greater than 120 square feet used in a permanent fashion will likely be subject to all existing Turlock planning, fire, and building codes in the new ordinance, and will be treated as though they are permanent buildings. As such, containers would be subject to zoning district standards, setbacks, and other requirements.
The ordinance will likely require containers to be located on a paved surface, prevent stacking of containers, and may limit the size and quantity of containers on a property. Appearance would also be regulated, as containers would need to be screened from public view, possibly painted, and could not have signs attached.
Development Impact Fees would also apply, as cargo containers would be treated like any other building, and could range from $2,900 to $6,800 depending on usage.
Containers used for less than three months would not require planning permits, nor would containers on sites where building permits are active. A temporary use of land permit would be enacted for containers to be used for more than three months or less than one year.

Lander Avenue hotel moves forward
The Turlock Planning Commission approved an amendment to the Lander Crossings planned development to allow construction to proceed on an 85-room hotel near the intersection of Lander Avenue and Highway 99.
The planned development, currently home to an existing Denny’s, Jack-in-the-Box, gas station, and six acres of vacant land, was initially approved in 1993. In 2008, an amendment was approved which would site a highway commercial center on the vacant six acres, containing the aforementioned hotel.
The 2008 amendment called for three phases of construction which required all on-site improvements to be completed prior to building the hotel and other buildings in the commercial center. Thursday’s agreement will allow the hotel to be built in the first phase, alongside on-site improvements related to the hotel, while a second and final phase would see construction of the remaining retail buildings and their on-site improvements.

Planning Commission swears in members
The Turlock Planning Commission’s newest member, Alex Salcedo, was sworn into office on Thursday by City Clerk Rhonda Greenlee. Salcedo had previously served as a planning commission alternate.
Former planning commissioner Aben Williams, who left Turlock for a period to pursue a job opportunity, was also sworn in for his new post as planning commission alternate, replacing Salcedo.