By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Udder Place moves forward with downtown expansion
Commission also grants three year extension for residential plan
Udder Place
The Udder Place will move forward with its downtown expansion into the adjoining vacant tenant space at 108 W. Main St. Upon completion, the expansion will add live entertainment, dancing, an outdoor seating area and kitchen. - photo by Journal file photo

The overwhelming popularity of The Udder Place can be proven on any given weekend night.

During one of these visits to the classic western bar, which opened in January of this year, patrons coming in to enjoy an adult beverage often have to maneuver and squeeze through crowds just to find an empty seat at the bar—and those that do are considered lucky. 

This congestion will hopefully be alleviated after the Turlock Planning Commission approved an expansion for The Udder Place into the adjoining vacant tenant space at 108 W. Main St.  With the expansion, the maximum occupancy of the bar will increase from 84 people to 355 people.

“Using the space next door was always a part of the overall vision for this place,” said owner Jerry Powell in August. “It was just a matter of timing, so it’s exciting to be moving in that direction.”

The expanded space, which is approximately .25 acres, will add live entertainment, dancing, an outdoor seating area and a kitchen that will serve food as part of the operation.

Various design measures will be installed to mitigate the potential noise from the venue, including sound dampening measures such as insulated ceiling panels and acoustical wall panels, as well as construction techniques such as added gypsum board and sheet rock.

“These measures were actually worked out with planning staff, the applicant and the police department,” said staff member Brent Gibbons. “We had some meetings to find ways to make this type of venue work with our TMC (Turlock Municipal Code) noise ordinance.”

Additionally, in order to control the noise levels on the exterior, The Udder Place will construct a roll up door at the expanded location. This door will be closed at 10 p.m. every night or during any other time when the noise exceeds the allowable decibel range.

As part of the approved expansion, The Udder Place will also continue to work with the Turlock Police Department to ensure the safety of the public in and around the bar.

“As you’ve noticed, our downtown area has become more and more vibrant, especially with the types of businesses that are coming into downtown,” said TPD Captain Nino Amirfar. “We want to ensure the safety of the community. Public safety comes first.”

Amirfar said although current data from downtown Turlock shows a 196 percent increase in reported Part I crimes, which include assault and battery, auto thefts and burglaries, the drastic uptick cannot all be contributed to downtown businesses.

“We have seen an increase in regards to fights and law enforcement activity in the downtown area, but that’s going to come into play whenever you’re dealing with alcohol,” said Amirfar.

Powell said that he estimates that the expansion will take six to nine months to complete. Upon completion, the expanded space will operate from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.

The Commission also took action on Thursday to grant a three year extension for the vesting tentative subdivision map of a proposed project on the corner of East Monte Vista Avenue and Colorado Avenue, which means that the empty lot that stands today will have to wait a little longer until it is filled.  

Valley Development now has until September 2018 before the previously approved subdivision map of the proposed project expires. The overall aim for the developer is to utilize this extension in order to wait on the market and try to develop at a better time.

The California Government Code, Section 66452.6, states that an approved tentative map expires two years after its approval. Under the Turlock Municipal Code, however, the life of the map may be extended once for an additional three years if a time extension application is made prior to the map’s expiration date.

This is not the first extension the map has received, since the slowing residential market prompted California legislation that extended the life of all active maps. Consequently, the expiration date for the map, which was originally approved by the Commission in September 2006 and set to expire in September 2008, was extended to September of this year. 

There are no proposed changes from the previously approved project, which was originally approved by the Commission in September 2006. The residential subdivision will include 12-single family residential lots on the 1.42 acre parcel. Typical lot sizes will range from approximately 3,100 square feet to slightly over 5,000 square feet.