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Planners prefer new design of bingo hall
Commission also OKs recycling center for Hatch & Mitchell center
Bingo hall.tif
Members of the Ceres Planning Commission approved this new design for an addition to the bingo hall on Central Avenue owned by the Assyrian Club of Urhai. This design replaces the old castle design that was proposed in 2011. The colors are not accurate. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

A new design for a proposed bingo hall expansion offered by the Assyrian Club of Urhai was approved by members of the Ceres Planning Commission on Monday. The new design, which dropped a previously approved castle-like design in favor of a more contemporary design, won the praises of the commission.

"I am happy to see this redesigned," said Commissioner Laurie Smith. She said the new design would be "a better fit for the area."

In a 5-0 vote, the commission approved an amendment to the Architectural and Site Plan Approval (ASPA) to allow for a 6,500 square foot addition to the south of the existing bingo hall at 2016 Central Avenue (north of Ceres High School.) The single-story addition will result in a 15,612 square foot facility.

The existing two-story building - operating as a bingo hall since 1990 - was damaged in a June 2011 fire but the club was already in the process of planning an addition.

In 2011 the commission wrestled with the castle like appearance of the design, similar to the Assyrian Cultural Center on the west side of Highway 99 on Central Avenue. City staff planners told commissioners, however, that the city has no restrictions on the types of elevations that may be used in the commercial area.

City Planner James Michaels said the new design resembled features contained in the CVS store on Hatch Road and the Rite Aid store on Mitchell Road. Smith was a bit concerned about the colors proposed for the building because the art renderings showed the trim to be blue. Her concerns were minimized when she was informed that the color was off in the reproduction and that the trim will be more of a grey-blue color.

Also during the meeting, the commission approved an 8' x 20' recycling trailer in the La Perla shopping center at the northeast corner of Hatch and Mitchell roads. City staff said the Star Recycling trailer would occupy one parking space, which the center could afford to lose because at any given moment only about half of the center's 71 spaces are occupied. The center will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. six days a week so the public can redeem CRV recyclables.

The recycling kiosk will be the only recycling place on the four corners of the intersection of Hatch and Mitchell.