Sharpen those skates – a new, seasonal ice skating rink could soon be opening in Turlock.
R.A.M. Farms, Inc., owned by Turlock Irrigation District Director Ron Macedo, has filed a Stanislaus County planning permit to operate a wintertime skating rink just outside of Turlock city limits.
R.A.M. Farms currently operates a seasonal pumpkin patch and corn maze at 716 N. Daubenberger Rd. According to the application, the corn maze would continue to operate from the last weekend of September to Oct. 31 each year.
But R.A.M. Farms has applied to expand its operations by offering a Christmas tree lot this year as well.
The starring attraction of the tree lot would be a lighted, 60-foot by 80-foot ice skating rink.
“This will increase tourism for the area, as well as improve the quality of life for locals who will not have to travel to enjoy seasonal activities,” R.A.M. Farms wrote in its planning application.
Seasonal music would be played to complement the ice skating. And a contracted, licensed food vendor would offer snack bar-style food on the weekends, like corn dogs, popcorn, nachos, and hot and cold beverages.
If approved by both the Turlock Planning Commission on Thursday and the Stanislaus County Planning Commission in the future, the rink could open this winter. The temporary rink would be operational from the Friday after Thanksgiving through the second weekend of January each year.
The rink would be open weekdays from 12 noon to 8 p.m., and weekends from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.. New sessions would begin every two hours.
In addition to the rink, R.A.M. Farms would bring in a temporary office building and restrooms.
The operation would employ up to 10 people per shift.
Turlock city staff has recommended the county approve the development with only minor conditions.
On Thursday, the Turlock Planning Commission is also expected to:
• Determine that the City of Turlock can purchase two properties at 1129 N. Olive Ave., totaling approximately .65 acres, to widen the road. The determination is required by the Turlock General Plan and state Government Code.
The Planning Commission will also be asked to determine that the city can purchase 11.34 acres located at 1801 S. Walnut Rd. for the construction of a storm water detention project.
• Consider a variance request by property owners at 2531 Mooneyham Court, who wish to build a pool pavilion which does not meet setback requirements. The 13-foot tall, 308-square foot building would be five feet from fences, rather than the required ten feet.
City staff recommends approval, as the lot is oddly shaped and the approval would have little effect on the neighborhood.
• Hear the results of a survey, conducted by California State University, Stanislaus students, about the use of bicycles on campus.
• Receive training on the Brown Act, the governmental transparency law.
• Hear staff updates on the General Plan, the StanCOG Regional Housing Needs Assessment process, and current projects.
The Turlock Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday in Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.