On Oct. 26 the Los Banos Planning Commission approved a cottage food operation permit for a private home-kitchen and reviewed the project design for the development of a truck servicing facility.

Los Banos Planning Commission approved a categorical exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as well as a cottage food operation for Jacquelin Morfin, who will be doing business as “Cupcakin.” The business will operate out of a private home located in a low-density residential area at 745 Vermont Ave.

The permit will allow for the sale of low-risk foods regulated by the County of Merced Department of Public Health. Associate Planner Rudy Luquin specified that the low-risk foods produced under the cottage food operation will be baked goods such as pastries, cupcakes and cakes.

Luquin also noted that there is adequate parking in the vicinity of Morfin’s home that will accommodate more than one client picking up their order at once.

The cottage food operation permit was approved unanimously by the commissioners, each congratulating Morfin, who said she wanted to start this business in part to create generational wealth for her son, Noah.

Luquin then presented a design review study session for the development of a 6,100 square foot metal building for a truck servicing facility, located in the industrial zoning district at the southwest corner of Technology Drive and Industrial Parkway. The facility will consist of a truck wash bay, a truck maintenance bay and an office.

The commissioners were only required to provide feedback to the applicant about architecture, landscaping and exterior lighting. No formal action was taken.

Luquin added that the vacant site will also include various other site improvements, such as landscaping, paving and utilities along Technology Drive.

“There will be a total of seven exterior LED lights throughout the project site,” Luquin said. “Three of those are proposed to be LED light pole fixtures and four of those will be LED exterior wall fixtures that will be located on the building itself.”

Luquin noted that three tree types totaling to 17 trees and three shrub species totaling 154 shrubs will supplement the exterior area.

The lack of plants within the interior of the area was a focus of several commissioners regarding landscaping. Commissioner Elias Reyes, commenting on the absence of vegetation within the parcel, said, “We also have to think about maneuverability and the overall traffic that they’re going to have inside of that gated area. Not everybody can drive at the same skill level.”

The applicants were not present at the meeting to discuss the trucking facility.

Community and Economic Development Director Stacy Elms noted that staff is excited to have industrial development along Technology Drive and added that they are anticipating more development within the area. “This is just the first of more to come,” Elms said.

Malina Duran

Malina Duran’s email is malina.duran1999@gmail.com.