Downtown Drive-Thru Permits on Planning Commission Agenda

Brandon McMillan/

The Turlock Planning Commission will consider making some amendments to the zoning ordinance, which received a large overhaul recently, including the type of permit required for Downtown Turlock drive-thru facilities on Thursday.

Turlock City Council approved a massive repeal and replacement of Title 9, the City of Turlock zoning ordinance, on April 14. However, at the behest of Council, Planning Commission was asked to revisit three items.

One controversial item, brought up by Councilmember Steven Nascimento, was the types of permits required for fast food restaurants to build drive-thru facilities in Downtown Turlock.

Currently, drive-thru facilities only require a minor discretionary permit, which only requires administrative approval and only adjacent parcels are notified, thus it can sneak under the nose of the public.

In June of 2014, a McDonald’s at 300 and 311 S. Golden State Blvd. and 250 E. Marshall St. in Downtown Turlock was approved at a City level.

The project, which ultimately fell through, came as a surprise to many in the public and even those on Turlock City Council.

Planning Commission will consider making a recommendation to City Council to require drive-thru facilities in the Downtown Transitional Commercial Overlay Zone, which encompases the four areas of Downtown Turlock adjacent to Main Street, Golden State Boulevard, and Lander Avenue, file a conditional use permit.

The conditional use permit would require approval from the Planning Commission on a case-by-case basis. In addition, a public notice sign would be posted on the property, a public notice would be published in local newspapers, property owners within 500 feet would be directly notified, and a public hearing would be required.

Planning Commission will also consider recommending an amendment to require double-striping in parking lots, eliminating the provision that allows single-striping, and enhance an amnesty program to “grandfather” existing cargo containers.

On May 7, Planning Commission hosted a workshop on the the zoning ordinances changes, where commissioners expressed support for the drive-thru permit and double-stripe parking amendments, but not to enhance the cargo container amnesty program.

On Thursday, Planning Commission will also:

  • Consider approving conditional use permits for new signs for the Turlock Town Center and Valley Blossom Plaza.
  • Returner Commissioner Elvis Dias will take his oath of office.

Turlock Planning Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Yosemite Room of City Hall, 156 S. Broadway. 

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