Turlock City Council will return to the matter of the new Taco Bell on Tuesday, as the Director of Development Services and City Engineer Mike Pitcock will request to deny the appeal of the fast food restaurant being placed across from a suburb, allowing plans to move ahead for construction. The agenda states the Council’s recommended action is to deny the appeal and approve the permit for the Taco Bell.
The proposed new Taco Bell, to be built at 3606 N. Golden State Blvd. at the intersection of Roberts Road, was originally approved at a Turlock Planning Commission meeting June 5.
Pam and Ray Franco appealed the approval of the Minor Discretionary Permit on June 9, citing proposed traffic issues and asking that the fast food restaurant only be open until midnight instead of 24 hours.
The Francos own eight rental properties across Mountain View Road from the proposed Taco Bell and remain worried that the fast food restaurant will disturb renters, and in effect hurt their business.
In the appeal, Pam Franco provided 13 reasons explaining why she believes the decision was wrong, detailing everything from interruption of local residents to potential traffic hazards and believes that the City did not provide enough mitigation to avoid the interruption of the public. She believes that residents across the street from the new restaurant will be “harmed substantially” by noise, traffic, smell, and lights and pointed out that the traffic study regarding the new Taco Bell only took into consideration current traffic instead of future traffic, which would include added trips as the restaurant is established and if neighboring properties also become restaurants.
Pam Franco also would like to see the exit on Roberts Road removed, as do a number of other residents local to the proposed restaurant, as shown in documents provided in the Council packet for Tuesday’s meeting. In the appeal, she believes precedent is set with the Jack in the Box on Main Street and Golden State Boulevard that ingress and egress only occurs on Golden State Boulevard, not Main Street (a smaller, quieter street in comparison to Golden State).
Thirty-eight residents signed the petition as residents of the Roberts Road neighborhood, “respectfully requesting that the City of Turlock amend the site plan for the proposed Taco Bell to remove any ingress or egress onto Roberts Road.”
“We believe that the ‘right turn only’ egress on Roberts Road will be used to make left turns on to Roberts Road,” the petition reads. “Which will create a dangerous conflict with vehicles exiting Golden State Blvd. onto Roberts Road. We believe that adding another conflict point so close to Mountain View Road will create a safety hazard as vehicles often travel down Roberts Road at high rates of speed.”
The majority of those who signed the document live directly on Roberts Road.
More recently, at the Aug. 6 Planning Commission, members seemed unaware of the appeal that had taken place.
At that meeting, Turlock Associate Planner Katie Quintero veered from the agenda to make members aware that the Taco Bell Discretionary Permit approved at the Commission’s June meeting was since appealed, adding that the discussion was pushed out to City Council’s meeting Aug. 26, due to time conflicts with earlier Council meetings for both the Taco Bell representative and the appellant.
“How many times can that be pushed out until the City says, you know, we’re having it and you’re either here or you’re not,” said Fregosi.
Director of Development Services and City Engineer Mike Pitcock explained along with Quintero that the City tries to be accommodating in response to the concerns of the public.
According the Aug. 26 Council agenda, Tuesday the Council plans to adopt the Mitigated Negative Declaration of Environmental Effect — the document prepared by City staff that shows the new Taco Bell would cause little to no environmental harm in its proposed location.
By adopting this declaration, the Council plans to incorporate the mitigation measures found in the Initial Study and Mitigation Monitoring Program prepared for this project having made the findings contained in the attached Draft City Council Resolution; and Approve Minor Discretionary Permit 2014-01 (Taco Bell).
The agenda lists the recommended action for Council is to deny the $125 appeal made by Pam and Ray Franco against the Planning Commission’s approval.
Denying the appeal would mean affirming the Planning Commission decision approving Minor Discretionary Permit 2014-01 Motion, Adopting a Mitigated Negative Declaration of Environmental Effect, incorporating the mitigation measures found in the Initial Study and Mitigation Monitoring Program prepared for this project with the findings contained in the attached Draft City Council Resolution Resolution and finally approving Minor Discretionary Permit 2014-01 so that the Taco Bell will be built.
The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.