A fourth Starbucks location and 25 townhomes had their site plans reviewed at the Sept. 27 meeting of the Los Banos Planning Commission.

A small Sunday school and an expansion of the Baza industrial complex were given California Environmental Quality Act exemptions as well.

Commissioners Katherine Uhley, Christopher Perrecone, Elias Reyes and Chair John Cates formed a quorum. Commissioner Rob Robinson was absent.
According to the Los Banos’ Associate Planner Rudy Luquin’s report, the Starbucks reviewed is on a site less than an acre, directly south of Panda Express and east of Home Depot, with a 1,275-square-foot building.

This will be a drive-through location only, with no indoor seating. Customers may walk up to order from the parking lot. The building has Spanish mission characteristics.

The only concern the commission had were the lights affecting the next-door apartments. The applicant Jay Virk, a developer from Fresno, assured the commission that the apartments would be shielded from the light.

Los Banos’ Community and Economic Development Director Stacy Sousa Elms stated in her report that Virk previously owned Mi Barrio on Mercey Springs, now known as A1-Step. Elms said she was, “excited to see him come back and do business in Los Banos.”

Before reviewing the Starbucks’ site, the commission gave feedback on the planned Snow Goose Townhomes. Luquin’s report stated that it would contain 25 townhomes on a 1.76-acre site.

The townhomes will be two stories, three bedrooms and 1,335 square feet each. The townhomes will be gated. The development is south of Pacheco High School on Snow Goose Drive. The style is described as Spanish/Mission by Luquin’s report.

After commissioners’ aesthetic and landscaping questions, Commissioner Uhley asked if there with be a play area on site. Elms said that since the project was adjacent to a park, it would be redundant. Elms went on to applaud the communication and detail the applicant provided staff.

The first CEQA exemption during the meeting was to a 1,500-square-foot Sunday school building. The building is one the site of the Church of Nazarene and is planned to take up the space its playground currently sits on, according to Luquin’s report. The building will consist of three classrooms.
The second CEQA exemption was for the 20,840-square-foot expansion of the 115 G St. building, part of the Baza Industrial Complex. The expansion roughly doubles the size of the north building in the complex and would likely be leased to industrial or commercial tenants. According to Luquin’s report, the only staff condition was for the parking lot to be restriped.

The commission approved both exemptions since they were in well-developed areas.

Only one individual spoke during the public forum. Blanche Jorge representing the Los Banos Elk’s Lodge highlighted the upcoming Howl-O-Ween fundraiser. The event on Oct. 28 will have a pet Halloween costume contest.  The fundraiser goes to benefit the animal shelter.

At the end of the meeting, Elms gave her report saying she is happy to new to see new national tenants come in, and informing the commission that a new zoning map would soon be updated and brought to its next meeting.

Javier Powell