City Council Officially Approves 20 Year Growth Plan for Turlock with No Residential Development West of Freeway

The City Council meeting on Tuesday evening consisted of a 4-1 vote to approve a comprehensive update to the City’s General Plan and a Citywide Rezone that will affect multiple properties within the City of Turlock. The City last comprehensively updated the General Plan in 1992, which was followed by a major amendment in 2003.

The General Plan amendment was continued from the September 11th City Council meeting when the Council voted with a 4-1 vote in favor of Alternative 1, the same alternative plan update that the Planning Commission voted in favor of at their September 6th meeting. Alternative 1 was chosen instead of the Preferred General Plan Update that was proposed by City Staff that would have supported residential growth on the west side of Highway 99.

Alternative 1 could support a total of some 104,500 residents and 53,800 jobs, leading to a jobs/employed residents ratio of 1.29. The population that this alternative could support essentially meets Turlock’s low-end population projection for 2030 of 106,000 residents.

This alternative produces the fewest number of housing units, new residents, and jobs compared with the proposed project and Alternative 2, but more than the No Project Alternative. Alternative one would also use only 1,015 acres of farmland, and keep residential growth on the east side of Highway 99.

The Council also voted in a 4-1 vote at Tuesday’s meeting to modify Guiding Policy 3.1-g and Implementation Policy 3.1-p by adding the following language:

“Prior to proceeding with the planning, annexation and development of Southeast Master Plan 2, 70 percent of the building permits shall be issued for the Northeast Mast Plan, East Tuolumne Master Plan, and Southeast Master Plan 1 (Morgan Ranch), calculated on a cumulative basis.”

Although the Council voted on September 11th to approve Alternative 1 and the Findings of Fact (as part of the Environment Impact Report required by the California Environmental Quality Act), the Findings of Fact and Statement of Overriding Consideration had to reflect the chosen alternative. The item was carried over to the September 25th meeting, to give staff time to revise these documents to correspond with the selected alternative.

Planning Services Director Debbie Whitmore presented the City Council with an overview and recap of the General Plan Update at Tuesday’s meeting and the proposed actions for the Council to vote on.

Whitmore stated that Alternative 1 was also noted by City Staff to be the Environmentally Superior Alternative, as it had the least amount of affects on the environment, as part of the Environmental Impact Report.

Councilwoman Amy Bublak was the only Council member to vote no on the resolution and amendments at Tuesday’s council meeting, keeping her vote consistent with the September 11th meeting when she voted against Alternative 1, and showed favor for the Preferred General Plan Update that would have supported residential growth on the west side of Highway 99.

The final reading for the adoption of the 2012 General Plan Update will be held at the next regularly scheduled City Council meeting, on Tuesday, October 9th, at 7pm.

Related Articles:
City Council Votes on Turlock Growth Plan; Opposes Northwest Expansion

Turlock Planning Commission Continues to Oppose Northwest Growth, Council to Decide Growth Plan at Special Meeting on Tuesday

Turlock Planning Meeting Attended Mostly by Denair Residents Opposing Turlock Growth

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