By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Another subdivision approved for Whitmore Ranch Specific Plan
• Expecting a hotel, commission says buildings can be taller than 35 feet
West ceres project
The Ceres Planning Commission approved a 46-lot subdivision for the 8.4-acre site (seen as the shaded portion) on this map. The project will be constructed east of Moore Road and south of Whitmore Avenue.

A second subdivision map for the Whitmore Ranch Specific Plan in east Ceres was approved Monday evening by the Ceres Planning Commission.

The applicant proposes to subdivide 8.4 acres into 46 residential lots just east of Moore Road and 650 feet south of Whitmore Avenue.

The city annexed the 94-acre Whitmore Ranch area in 2019. Its first subdivision was approved in May 2021 to subdivide 19.3 acres into 107 residential lots at 3340 E. Whitmore Avenue. Construction has yet to commence.

The second map, which was approved Monday, allows for an acre sized park/basin, 32 low-density residential lots and 14 medium-density residential lots. The site is currently being farmed as an almond orchard.

The size range for the low-density parcels is from 5,798 to 7,800 square feet with the average lot size being 6,799 square feet.

Medium-density parcels will be sized between 2,320 to 2,917 square feet, with the average lot size at 2,618 square feet.

Taller buildings may be allowed

The commission also responded favorably to a request to allow buildings taller than the limit set in the Mitchell Road Corridor Specific Plan (MRCSP). 

City staff wants to allow exceptions to the 35-foot-high limit, specifically in response to plans to build a four-story hotel in the Ceres Gateway Center near Highway 99. The hotel could be as high as 45 or 50 feet, said Senior Planner James Michaels. The exception would not apply to community commercial centers. It would allow taller buildings in the Mitchell Ranch Shopping Center, Ceres Gateway Center, northeast corner of Mitchell and Service and the SamBella Plaza at the southeast corner of Mitchell and Rhode Road.

If someone wanted to build a taller motel, they could, said Michaels so long that the Planning Commission gave its approval.

Planning Commissioner Bob Kachel said the change made sense given how other communities – such as neighbor Turlock – allow hotels of at least four stories or higher.

“These hotels of about that height are pretty much popping up very frequently at freeway interchanges,” said Kachel.

The commission’s 4-0 approval is only a recommendation to the City Council.

In other action, the commission approved a lot line adjustment for NGB Construction, Inc. to consolidate two properties located at 4435 and 4436 Admiral Court.

In August 2018, the Planning Commission approved a Site Plan Approval entitlement for NGB Construction to construct a 4,000 square foot two-story contractor’s office building and a 2,000 square-foot workshop building at 1950 Morgan Road. The business manufactures prefabricated walls for residential homes.

The applicant was planning to develop that site for the purposes of using the property to manufacture prefabricated walls for residential and commercial buildings. However, the company sold the property to Kingspan Insulated Panels for their expansion and decided to build essentially the same project at 1209 Marchy Lane and 1239 Marchy Lane in the Morgan Road Industrial Park. Before the project could be constructed, the city required NGB to obtain a lot line adjustment.

The Planning Commission approved that Marchy lot line adjustment in May 2020. Since that time, the applicant has been working toward completing the construction improvements of the office building and the workshop building and the project is expected to be completed sometime in the spring. 

In 2021, the applicant acquired two additional properties 4435 & 4436 Admiral Court, which are located directly adjacent to the north of the 1209 & 1239 Marchy Lane site. While maintaining the current operation on Marchy Lane, it is also the applicant’s intent to expand his manufacturing operation involving the two Admiral Court properties with an additional 32,400 square foot building, in which the applicant will utilize this building as an additional manufacturing and office area for his operation.

As was similarly done for the Marchy Lane property, the applicant has submitted an administrative permit application in February for the building proposed on the Admiral Court properties, which will be subject to review and approval by staff. A lot line was also required to combine the two parcels into one.