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Planning Commission to review sign, noise laws
On Thursday evening, the Planning Commission will hold a workshop addressing certain Turlock zoning laws such as sign policies. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Having made a final decision last month to move forward with amending Turlock's food truck regulations, the Turlock Planning Commission will now begin discussing other potential amendments to the city's municipal code, taking up various zoning issues that were placed on the backburner due to the several month-long mobile food facilities debate.
On Thursday evening, the Planning Commission will hold a workshop addressing certain Turlock zoning laws such as current noise regulations and sign policies, while also discussing the city code changes that resulted from the adoption of the new General Plan in 2012.
Sign laws have been continually addressed by members of the commission over the past year after having they asked city staff members to look into making advertisement practices such as sign spinners, flags and banners illegal for businesses within the City of Turlock. In April 2013, Planning Director Debbie Whitmore recommended that the commission consider restructuring the current sign ordinance to fit local needs while using the City of Rancho Cucamonga's sign ordinances as a model for any potential amendments.
According to Whitmore, Rancho Cucamonga's sign ordinance is similar to Turlock's existing ordinance, however, includes more in depth standards and design guidelines in addition to not allowing any commercial items in the public right away - an issue occurring in Turlock with sign spinners that various planning commissioners deemed as hazardous to public safety.
Under Turlock's current code, signs are regulated to control size, height, structural design, quality of materials and construction, location, electrification, and maintenance. As the city's sign policy currently stands, the only prohibited signs are ones that display obscene matter, adult entertainment, and temporary signs on posts, trees, utility poles, and fences to advertise an event or product not located on the property.
In addition to the workshop, the Planning Commission will review the City's General Plan Implementation Report, extensively reviewing the actions made by city staff to meet certain goals within the General Plan over the past year. According to city staff, the Development Services Department held approximately 76 predevelopment meetings in 2013 which were offered free of charge with those looking to discuss a development proposal. During such meetings, staff members discuss the city's guidelines for site and building design with the potential developers while also addressing areas such as city fees, development standards, potential parking and traffic issues, public safety concerns, and infrastructure requirements.
On Thursday, the Planning Commission is expected to also:
• Consider two Stanislaus County Planning referral items including a use permit for a 100-foot tall Verizon Wireless cell tower on E. Hawkeye and a proposal to legalize three existing modular structures at the Larsa Banquet Hall to store event supplies in an area currently being used as parking space;
• Receive updates on the E. Monte Vista Avenue on-street vehicle sales after previous concerns were made by the Planning Commission regarding the street's traffic issues that have resulted from the sale of many vehicles.
The Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday at City Hall, located at 156 S. Broadway Ave.