The City of Turlock is looking to better market Turlock’s industrial area, the Westside Industrial Specific Plan (WISP), with a new name after Turlock Mayor John Lazar said at a January 11, 2011, Council Meeting, “I just don’t think the WISP is sexy enough for 2011.”
Mayor Lazar suggested referring to the Turlock Planning Commission that they come up with a new name for the WISP.
“I’d rather call it the Turlock Business Park or something like that,” stated Mayor Lazar.
About five months after Mayor Lazar’s suggestion, the issue of renaming the WISP was discussed at the Thursday, June 2nd, Turlock Planning Commission Meeting. The business community has looked to Turlock Planning Commission to develop a marketing name for the area encompassed by the WISP.
Heidi McNally-Dial, Turlock Economic Development and Redevelopment Agency Manager, commented, “Initially that name was a working name.” McNally-Dial said that the interest to change the name is because they want to position themselves for when the market gets better and the economy turns around.
Debbie Whitmore, Deputy Director of Development Services, agreed and said, “It was never intended to be a marketing name.” Whitmore feels that it should be renamed due to its location in an industrial area.
In addition, members of the staff suggested placing gateway signs on public works projects, such as water wells and storage tanks, within the WISP.
City Staff recommended the formation of a business advisory committee to advise the Planning Commission on both issues. The committee would be subject to the Brown Act as it is envisioned as serving an advisory role to the Turlock Planning Commission.
McNally-Dial commented that she would be a part of this committee. Mike Brem, Chair of the Planning Commission, appointed the absent Planning Commissioner Nick Hackler to serve on the advisory committee.
“He’s got a very creative mind and a young nimble mind,” said Chairman Brem. “He’ll do a great job at it too.”
With the business advisory committee established, the Commission will move forward with the renaming of the WISP. Whitmore said that she does not envision this being an extended process, and the issues should be ironed out within two or three meetings.
On the following Monday, Whitmore said that the meetings will be publicly posted but have not been scheduled yet. The City Manager has designated the members of the Committee, though the members have not yet been formalized.
The Business Advisory Committee will be inviting members of business organizations to attend.