Zoning Ordinance Debate to Continue, Ban on Downtown Food Trucks Proposed

David Fransen/TurlockCityNews.com

The Turlock City Council met on Nov. 18 unanimously approving rescheduling a request to repeal and replace Turlock Municipal Code Title 9, Zoning Ordinance, in its entirety to the Jan. 13, 2015 meeting where there will be a section for public comment.

Title 9 of the Turlock Municipal Code is the Zoning Regulations or Zoning Ordinance intended to act as a precise and detailed plan for land use within the City. Zoning designations for any property must be consistent with the City’s General Plan.

The City of Turlock occasionally makes zoning regulation changes that adhere to State law. Changes to Municipal Code as approved by the City Council take effect 30 days after enactment.

The rescheduled hearing will include the public’s consideration of the proposed comprehensive update to the Zoning Ordinance, repealing and replacing regulations in their entirety.

Changes will also affect the range of uses and development standards for the Downtown Turlock zoning overlay districts and technicalities, including definitions and procedures, will be affected by the amendments as proposed.

The following includes some of the major changes to the Code up for consideration:

In Chapter 9-1 of the Code, included are general provisions and definitions with minor modifications and additions. In Chapter 9-2, there are new regulations that apply to all districts.

There are major amendments to accessory buildings and structures, building projections into yards, landscaping and irrigation, permitted locations of recreational vehicles and campers, salvage and wrecking, and mobile food facilities according to the City’s department of Development Services and Planning Division.

Additionally, there are new sections addressing cargo containers, electrified fences, and drive-thru facilities.

There will be a consideration of additional off-street parking and loading regulations relating to driveway standards, moved parking space and drive aisle requirements to the City’s Standard Specifications and Drawings, modified Bicycle Parking requirements, allowance for alternative method of determining the number of parking spaces, and added parking lots design standards.

Proposed are reduced permitting requirements for smaller expansions of nonconforming uses and structures; the change would go from needing to obtain a conditional use permit, to needing to obtain a minor discretionary permit.

Pertaining to wireless communications, in Article 6 of the code, there is a minor rewording.

There is a proposed change in Chapter 9-3 of the Code relating to permitting requirements for various uses and the property development regulations for all districts.

Pertaining to Downtown Turlock, in Chapter 9-4, there are overlay district regulations that would establish lot dimensions and impose limitations on the types of property security devices allowed.

There will be major revisions to use classifications and permitting requirements for various uses in each of these districts.

Proposed is a reduction in setback requirements for some overlay districts, increase in the height limit for Office Residential and Industrial Residential zoning districts. Additionally there is a reduction in landscaping requirements.

There is also a change in Section 9-2-125(d) prohibiting food trucks in the Downtown Core, Downtown Core Transition and Office Residential overlay districts.

Changes in Chapter 9-5 of the code pertain to permitting procedures and timeframes relating to outdoor dining establishments; a requirement is proposed to maintain insurance coverage throughout the operation of the outdoor dining use. There would also be a reduction in barrier height from 4 feet to 3 feet when alcohol is served.

These proposed changes will affect the permitting requirements for uses, development standards, and permitting processes in all zoning districts citywide.

Of note, changes to sign and noise ordinances will not being addressed during the public comments portion of the meeting as they are to be heard at an unspecified future meeting.

For more information on the specifics of each change visit the City’s Development Services, Planning Division website here.

The rescheduled matter and public hearing on the Zoning Ordinance will be held at 6:00 pm, Tuesday Jan. 13 during the Turlock City Council meeting at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway, in the Yosemite Room. 

Comments 8

  1. truth says:

    Ban them all and don’t forget to include cupcake truck they don’t have restrooms and real running water why have a truck serving food next to a building that can serve food it’s all about sanitation and someone sweating their butt off in a taco truck just doesn’t seem to be very sanitary and cockroaches aren’t either

  2. Joe B says:

    First McDonald’s, now food trucks. What makes these downtown restaurant owners think they can legislate away their competition?

  3. ????? says:

    I thought the city ordinance requires a food vendor (taco truck) to only be open when they have access to a restroom within a business. So why are these trucks open when the business is closed? The trucks at Golden State and Walnut are open after hours and Sundays.
    You know they must be using five gallon buckets to do their business in……

  4. Chuck Wagon says:

    I used to work at a McDonald’s and can tell you a lot of us who worked the hot grills (especially during lunch and dinner crunch times) definitely worked up a sweat. Managers have workers at near-maximum speed. And I know how the food was handled. Plus, employees at on local McD’s didn’t wear hats or hairnet. Local food truck vendors are routinely inspected, perhaps more so than some restaurants. And the commissary on W. Main is state of the art. I’d rather eat at a good food truck than McD’s or Taco Bell. Ha, a former Taco Bell worker was relieved to get a job at McD’s – he said Taco Bell was a nightmare.

  5. G. Fieri says:

    Local food trucks undergo multiple health inspections. You can check with the city, but I believe they are inspected more often than most local restaurants. And the food is healthier than Taco Bell and McDonald’s.

  6. Augustus Bolinger says:

    This is why I’ve been boycotting all downtown business: because downtown turlock restaurants and other business via their lackey, the downtown association, have come together to stop smarter and alternative business models from competing. Turlock downtown sucks because of actions like this. This is supposed to be a college town and a variety of businesses are not only needed here, but these lazy business people who don’t want competition coming in and use downtown association to block it, have no right to prevent others from competing. Scum of the earth those a holes at the dust bowl are!

  7. Contradiction says:

    GF & AB- you are right, food trucks go through rigorous inspections through the county’s Department of Environmental Resources. They are allowed every week at the Farmer’s Market–which is downtown, by the way–so why aren’t they allowed at other select times during the week? Why can’t Turlock have a Food Truck night like other cities? It’s not like most restaurants downtown are even open on Monday nights anyway. But let’s keep Jack in the Box open with all the drug deals that go on in the parking lot and bench on the Main St. side. Thanks again City of Turlock and Downtown Assoc for ruling by conflict of interest.

  8. Guest says:

    I’ve been eating at taco trucks for 25 years, and I’ve never been sick. I’m pretty confident that if I was going to get sick, it would have happened by now, so I’m not buying the whole sanitation angle.

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