The Los Banos Planning Commission at its April12 meeting approved a cottage food operation permit, a mobile food vending permit for Taqueria Don Peter, and a permit allowing a place of worship for Everlasting Church for their future  meetings.

The commission also heard Community and Economic Development Director Stacy Elms report on a planning commission academy and plans for the city’s new housing division to work on affordable housing.

The Planning Commission approved an exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and a cottage food operation permit for Alessandra Connick, allowing the sale of baked goods, such as pastries, cookies, cupcakes and custom cakes, out of her residence located at 2280 Emory Court.

Concerned about increased traffic in the area, Commission Chair John Cates asked about the hours of operation for the business. According to Associate City Planner Rudy Luquin, clientele will only be allowed to pick up baked goods between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Luquin specified that while customer pick-up at the residence is an option, the applicant will mainly deliver purchased goods to the buyer, minimizing traffic in the area.

The Commission then approved an exemption from CEQA and mobile food vendor permit for Pedro Roman, who will be doing business as Taqueria Don Peter at 1560 E. Pacheco Boulevard. More specifically, the food vendor will be operating on private property in the western portion of the NAPA Auto Parts store parking lot.

According to city documents, Taqueria Don Peter will be operating 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will consist of one employee at this time.

Luquin said that there were 20 existing mobile food vending permits operating throughout Los Banos, and that the approval of this permit will increase the total to 21.

The final approval from the commission was an exemption from CEQA and a conditional use permit to allow for a place of worship for Everlasting Church, located at 115 W. G St. The church will be operating within the former Comcast site, an existing facility within the General Industrial Zoning District, but the church’s activities will not be related to any industrial use.

“They will hold worship services meetings Monday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., however, they will not be concurrent,” Luquin said.

According to city documents, the applicant will only hold services indoors unless a Temporary Use Permit is requested for an outdoor event within the private property.

All members of the commission congratulated and wished success to the three of the applicants present at the meeting. Chairperson Cates thanked the entrepreneurs for helping expand the community’s economic development.

In her report, Stacy Elms said that the recent Planning Commissioners Academy gave the Commission a great opportunity to network with other cities and hear differing perspectives. Elms reported there was an emphasis put on affordable housing this year.

Elms also updated the commission on the new housing division, which prioritizes homelessness in Los Banos. After the Housing Program Manager was hired on March 1, Elms said, the department has seen success in permanently and temporarily housing several individuals experiencing homelessness.

“With the priority, emphasis, and direction from the City Council, we have an opportunity to change and have an effect on our community,” Elms said about the housing division.

Malina Duran

Malina Duran’s email is