The Udder Place can now move forward with its proposed expansion as it was unanimously approved by the Turlock City Planning Commission on Thursday night.
Owner Jerry Powell was also part of another development project in Turlock that has recently been in the news, the land rezoned for a bowling alley but ultimately only saw a car wash built instead, and then rezoned back to residential to allow a four story student housing project to be constructed.
Powell aims to have this development project completed in 6-9 months.
The popular downtown bar will begin a project to expand into the vacant 108 W. Main Street space, located directly next to the 110 W. Main Street current location.
Not only will the location of the bar be extended, but it’s current hours of operation of 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. will be as well, running from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The Udder Place looks to add an outdoor seating area, which will include a bandstand area for live entertainment (both acoustic and amplified) as well as a dance floor, which requires a dance permit through the Turlock Police Department. Seeing as the outdoor component will be part of the bar, admittance into the outdoor area will be restricted to age 21.
A new kitchen area that serves bar food during operation hours is also included in the expansion.
With the bar having opened in January, it sees more than its fair share of bar patrons, especially on weekends. The expansion will have a maximum occupancy increase from the current 84 to a combined 355, hoping to reduce overcrowding.
According to City Staff, in 2008, a cocktail bar approved by the Planning Commission was appealed to City Council based on the oversaturation of bars. It was then continued in 2009 based on other safety concerns such as amplified sound and public safety.
“The Turlock Municipal Code (TMC) 92300 designates the reasonable and allowable sound of the exterior and the interior noises based on the decibel scale,” said Assistant City Planner Brenton Gibbons. “The TMC also determines the amount of noise based on the transference of spaces, whether that be from the inside exterior, the adjacent commercial tenants or the residential units, which are above.”
Powell and Turlock Police worked in collaboration to find ways to make the building work with the TMC noise ordinance, hoping to end any live entertainment at midnight.
The Udder Place looks to add a modern roll up door with a thicker glass component to lessen the sound impact onto the street. The roll up door is to be closed at 10 p.m. nightly, regardless of the day of the week, as the TMC quiet hours are between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Other proposed noise reducers are insulated ceiling panels, acoustical wall panels, and additional sheet rock during the building process.
As the Downtown Turlock area grows to be more of a nightlife destination, with food and drink experiences, the Turlock Police Department is looking to provide as much safety as possible with Downtown business owners.
“Our hope is to make Mr. Powell and other businesses that are going to choose to come downtown be successful,” Police Captain Nino Amirfar said. “At the same time, offering a safe and pleasurable experience to our customers from fellow cities.”
Residents of Downtown Turlock are concerned by the increase in the amount of reported Part I crimes in the area. Crimes such as assault and batteries, burglaries, and such are up 196 percent.
“Any time you have alcohol sales in a bar circumstance, you’re going to draw in some type of unruly behavior. It doesn’t matter where it is,” Amirfar said. “I don’t care if you have 100 cops in front of that business, it’s going to happen. It’s called liquid courage.”
Bar staff will be ensuring that they are monitoring the amount of consumption of alcohol and contacting law enforcement when they feel there could be an issue, making sure the Downtown area remains safe and vibrant.