It may be 90 degrees, but it’s time to start thinking about buying a new pair of ice skates.
The Turlock City Council unanimously endorsed a plan to double the size of Fields of Ice, the city’s seasonal ice skating rink, on Tuesday evening.
The plan would increase the R.A.M. Farms-owned rink from 4,800 square feet to 9,600 square feet in size. About two-thirds of the rink will be covered by a new tent, allowing for skating in inclement weather, improved lighting, and musical entertainment.
The expansion would also more than double parking, expanding from 28 to 58 spaces and adding an additional 50-space overflow parking area.
The development still awaits final approval by the Stanislaus County Planning Commission. Fields of Ice is technically located just outside of Turlock city limits, and as such is in Stanislaus County’s jurisdiction.
The Turlock City Council did recommend four conditions of approval to minimize the ice rink’s impacts on the surrounding community. R.A.M. Farms must conduct an acoustic analysis to ensure noise does not exceed limits, agree to an inspection at the end of the season to verify the site has been thoroughly cleaned, draft a parking management plan to minimize impacts on the surrounding community, and improve parking areas with signs.
Fields of Ice Owner Ron Macedo enthusiastically agreed to the conditions. Fields of Ice’s success in its inaugural year surprised even Macedo, and brought up some unexpected issues.
“As we went through the process last year, we realized we have things to improve on,” Macedo said. “That’s the reason for this expansion.”
The larger rink is intended to accommodate the current need – not any expected growth. Fields of Ice attracted more than 900 skaters some days, with as many as 160 on the rink at one time. The expanded rink will likely hold 225 skaters at most, in a safer, more comfortable skating experience.
“This whole thing is based on the community,” Macedo said.
Turlock City Councilwoman Amy Bublak commended Macedo for wanting to enlarge the skating rink before a unanimous, 4-0 vote.
Turlock Mayor John Lazar did not take part in the decision, as he represents the parcel where Fields of Ice is located as part of his real estate business.