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Special joint meeting of Council, Planning Commission to cover Zoning enforcement issues
signs pic
Enforcement of the City's Sign Ordinance is one topic that will be discussed at Tuesday's joint meeting of the Turlock City Council and Planning Commission. - photo by Journal file photo

The Turlock City Council and Turlock Planning Commission will hold a special joint meeting on Tuesday to discuss major development projects, planning studies and other issues that impact the city.
In preparation for the joint meeting, the Planning commissioners discussed a list of topics they hope to receive direction on from the City Council. Their number one discussion point: enforcement.
"The concerns I have are that we have these ordinances but enforcement isn't there," said Planning Commission Chair Soraya Fregosi. "With the Sign Ordinance, a lot of people are noncompliant. We've spent a lot of time on the Sign Ordinance...I don't want to be spinning our wheels on something that is not a priority."
Along with enforcement of the Sign Ordinance and Zoning Ordinance, the Planning Commission also plans to discuss how to change the public's view about density and higher profile buildings.
Implementation of the Active Transportation Plan and public education and outreach regarding changing laws and regulations like to municipal separate storm sewer systems and the statewide Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance are also on the Planning Commission's list of topics.
The Planning Commission also hopes to receive input on affordable housing and the homeless. The City is updating its Housing Element, but with the elimination of Redevelopment Agencies, there is relatively little funding available to provide housing options for the poor.
"Most of our housing is single development, and not affordable to our citizens," said Fregosi.
The special joint meeting of the Turlock City Council and Turlock Planning Commission will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room at Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway. Following the special meeting, the City Council will hold its regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the same place.
At their regular meeting, the City Council is expected to:
• Receive a report on the Brandon Koch Memorial Skate Park temporary closure and relocation plan. The Council will also make a determination if the $240,000 paid by the Turlock Irrigation District to the City to acquire the existing skate park located at 250 Starr Ave., complies with the Park Preservation Act.
• Accept a report from the Planning Commission on Zoning Regulations referred by the City Council on April 14. The Planning Commission is recommending: 1.) The Council not upgrade the permitting process for drive-through restaurants in the Downtown Transitional Commercial Overlay Zone as it would result in higher fees for developers; 2.) The Council not require double-striping in parking lots because the additional cost associated with double-striping could be excessive; and 3.) The Council not implement additional "grandfathering" measures for property owners that have not obtained building permits for their permanent cargo containers.
• Assess properties for sidewalk repair costs and establish a lien for payment.
• Approve a new job description for a part-time event assistant. This position is being created to take on some of the tourism-related support activities formerly managed by the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
• Approve a Memorandum of Understanding between the Turlock Police Department and the Stanislaus County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Agency for the creation of a Homeless Engagement Multi-Disciplinary Team. As part of the HEMDT, behavioral health staff would ride out directly with police officers periodically to specifically address particular individuals in need; and behavioral health staff and Turlock Police officers would meet on a regular basis to develop, implement and monitor strategic interventions designed to assist those individuals in living lawful and productive lives.
• Consider the final Environmental Impact Report for the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Program; adopt a Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program; and approve certain components of the project.
• Approve a Gift Agreement for the Turlock Mayor's Office Public Policy Award with California State University, Stanislaus. Mayor Gary Soiseth wants to redirect his mayoral stipend in a way that would benefit university students and the City of Turlock by creating a special research competition that would culminate in the Mayor's Award presentation.