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Planners approve two commercial projects along Mitchell Road
• Ono Hawaiian BBQ, not Panda Express, wants to build in Ceres Gateway Center near Hwy. 99
Ono Hawaiian Ceres
An architectural design of the Ono Hawaiian BBQ restaurant that will take the place of the Panda Express previously approved by the city for the Ceres Gateway Center south of the Supercenter.

The Ceres Planning Commission took action on Monday to approve a commercial project along Mitchell Road and a change in the fast-food makeup of the forthcoming Ceres Gateway Center.

The commission approved a Conditional Use Permit for a convenience store with a gas station, car wash, and two future retail pads on a 3.59-acre site at the southwest corner of Mitchell Road and Roeding Road. Ranjit Singh is the applicant.

Commissioners also approved a Specific Plan Site Plan (SPSP) entitlement so that Ono Hawaiian BBQ restaurant can take the place of Panda Express in a 2,192 square-foot building with drive-thru at the Ceres Gateway Center to be constructed south of the new Walmart Supercenter at Mitchell and Service roads.

In the first project considered, commissioners learned that approval had been given for the development of a gas station and retail buildings in 2009 and several time extensions. When the proponent did not pick up the required building permits by March 2012 and did not ask for yet another extension, the project approval died. 

Since that time city staff had received very few inquiries regarding potential development of the property. In June, Singh talked to the city staff about building a project similar to the one previous owner had proposed but adding a carwash. After reviewing options to improve the design and layout of the proposed buildings, the planning staff only required a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) before building permits could be obtained.

The 3.59-acre site is at the southwest corner of Mitchell and Roeding Roads and catty-cornered from the Liquor King. 

Singh proposes a commercial shopping center comprised of 32,846 square feet of commercial space. It includes a 4,320-square-foot convenience store with 16-pump fueling station, a carwash that consists of a 3,360-square-foot tunnel building and a 4,410-square-foot solar canopy to cover 20 vacuum stalls, and two future retail pads. The project also includes a 2,106 square-foot solar canopy to cover four electric vehicle charging stations (seven charging stalls), and a 138-stall parking lot.

Restaurant for Gateway Center

The commission gave its blessings in a 5-0 vote to a change for the use of one of the previously approved commercial users which included the In-N-Out Burger, Starbucks, Chipotle, Panda Express, and a Circle K.

In the summer, the applicant informed the city that Panda Express backed out of taking one of the the fast-food pads, and that Ono Hawaiian BBQ restaurant is interested in replacing it. Because the commission had not reviewed the architectural details of Ono Hawaiian, approval of a separate Specific Plan Site Plan was required.

The proposed eatery includes a 2,192-square-foot building with a 468-square-foot outdoor patio area, a two-lane drive-thru, and 21 parking spaces. The architecture and placement of the building and the orientation of the parking lot area and drive-thru operation is similar to what the Planning Commission approved for the previous Panda Express with one exception. The proposed drive-thru operation will include two lanes instead of one lane to accommodate greater vehicle stacking. 

The Ono Hawaiian BBQ is to be located immediately to the south of the new shopping center’s Mitchell Road entrance/exit.

southwest corner Mitchell and Roeding
The Ceres Planning Commission approved a convenience store with gas pumps at the southwest corner of Mitchell and Roeding roads.

Lot line adjustment

In its last action on Monday, the commission approved a request by Robert and Janet Wix to adjust a property line shared between two properties at 2140 Pine Street. The site is zoned and used for light industrial businesses.

Four buildings are on the property, which is part of the Steffco Industrial Subdivision created in 1967. In 1969, a parcel map was recorded that involved the re-parceling of the site into two industrial lots and those two lots exist today. Following the recording of that map, the owner received approval to add one of the southerly buildings in the early 1970s, but the building was partially constructed over the property line separating the two lots – a violation of the Ceres Municipal Code. When the city and the owners acknowledged that a violation had occurred, the city agreed in 1973 to allow the building to remain but required the owners to correct the violation before ever selling the property.

Since the Wix’s are preparing to sell the property, the problem with the lot line needed to be rectified.