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Crowell Road church to expand; Morgan Ranch scoping meeting set for Feb. 23
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Turlock's Nazareth Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 4510 Crowell Rd., will expand its youth building, following Planning Commission approval on Thursday.
The commission's unanimous approval amended the church's campus plan, first approved in 2000, which allowed for construction of a 14,688 square foot church and social hall. That plan was amended in 2002 to allow for a 19,300 square foot church and social hall, and a 2,400 square foot youth building.
All construction was to be completed by December 2012, but so far only the first phase - a youth building, play fields, and 129 parking spaces - have been built. Thursday's Planning Commission decision will give Nazareth Evangelical Lutheran Church additional time to develop the site.
The youth building expansion will add 1,350 square feet of space, housing a traditional lobby area, enlarging the sanctuary, and adding meeting and restroom space. A further 27 parking spaces will be added to accommodate the additional churchgoers, and the church will fully landscape the parking lot before final approval will be given.

On Thursday, the Turlock Planning Commission also:
• Learned that a scoping meeting for the Morgan Ranch Master Plan - Turlock's next large subdivision area to be developed, located east of the city - will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 23 in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway. The Morgan Ranch development, initially proposed before the recession, has shifted toward medium density housing, away from originally-planned lower densities.
• Nominated Mike Brem to chair the commission in 2012. Brem is the current commission chair. Commissioner Soraya Fregosi was nominated to serve as vice chair. Jeanine Bean was the commission vice chair in 2011.
• Continued work on updating the city sign ordinance.
John Jaureguy, owner of Jaureguy's Paint and Decorating, suggested that any new ordinance be more straightforward and easier for laymen to understand, easier and less expensive to comply with, and enforced strictly so those who do not comply are penalized.
• Learned that Hawkeye Avenue will be resurfaced with rubberized asphalt - the first street in Turlock to use the material. Rubberized asphalt is quieter to drive on than traditional asphalt.
• Learned that the City of Turlock is applying for a grant to prepare a bicycle master plan for the city.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.