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Planning Commission to consider changes to municipal code
planning pic
"Nightclub" is a new category the Planning Commission will consider recommending for the City's Municipal Code. - photo by Journal file photo

Christmas tree vendors may soon have more time to provide Turlock residents with holiday cheer, as a three-day extension on Christmas tree sales will be considered by the Planning Commission at their next meeting. The extension is part of an omnibus amendment to the Turlock Municipal Code, which includes amendments to the Zoning Regulations, such as those addressing signs, noise, underground utilities and landscaping.

The first in a stack of amendments to the Municipal Code would include moving the starting period of Christmas tree sales from Nov. 25 to Nov. 22, as well as extending the period of time for clean up from Jan. 8 to Jan. 15. The application process will also be changed to be consistent with the procedures for any other temporary use of land.

Significant changes may be put into effect to Article 2 of Chapter 9-1 of the Municipal Code, which contains establishment of definitions. Changes to the City’s definitions of “bar” and “restaurant” are included, as well as the creation of a new “nightclub” definition.

The definition of a “restaurant” would allow restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages along with food service, which would reflect the current state of the practice. A corresponding change would be made to the “bar” definition, clarifying that some locations where minors are allowed even though food service is incidental to the sale of alcoholic beverages do not meet the City’s definition for a “restaurant” and will be classified as a “bar,” even though some level of food service is provided.

An entirely new definition, “nightclub,” would be added in order to place live entertainment, dancing and other performances into a single use category, effectively removing the in-place term of “entertainment, live.” Nightclubs can include live performances, DJs, bands and dancing, and the sale of alcoholic beverages or food is not required to fall under the new definition.

Other changes to definitions include the movement of large and small family day care homes into a new classification called “family day care homes,” the redefinition of group homes, such as nursing homes and rehabilitation homes, and group quarters, like fraternity or sorority houses.

There are 15 changes in total included in the omnibus amendment, such as significant changes to noise standards, wireless communication facilities, recycling and solid waste disposal regulations and landscaping and irrigation. The Planning Commission will consider a recommendation to the Turlock City Council to adopt the Ordinance Amendment at their next meeting. The Commission will also receive a downtown parking management plan update.

The Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.