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Proposed flea market changes delayed
El Rematito Flea Market changes
An aerial photo shows the layout of the the El Rematito Flea Market on Crows Landing Road, Ceres. Operators want to relocate the food truck parking from the southeast corner to the northeast corner of the site. - photo by Image courtesy of Google Maps

The issues between El Rematito Flea Market and the city relating to changes of the operation of the venue on Crows Landing Road were delayed once again on Monday evening.

The Ceres Planning Commission held yet another public hearing regarding proposed amendments to a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) that allows El Rematito’s operation.

Representing El Rematito, attorney Nelson Gomez explained that another postponement was necessary due to “hiccup” since flea market representatives were meeting with Modesto Fire Department officials yesterday to iron issues.

Gomez said he hoped the matter is “finally” settled when the commission reconvenes the public hearing at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

“At least from our point …I think that we won’t have very many issues for you,” Gomez told the commission.

The commission has provided extensions of the CUP on Oct. 2 and Dec. 4 to provide additional time to prepare site plans and conditions of approval. Christopher Hoem, director of the city’s Community Development Department, explained that multiple versions of plans have been discussed and additional issues remain to be hammered out.

The proposed amendments would:

• Add two adjacent parcels to the Use Permit Area and apply gravel parking surfaces to both parcels per Ceres Municipal Code;

• Streamline the permitting of on-site special events with a pre-determined set of conditions;

• Update reporting requirements for business licenses and sales tax;

• Relocate the mobile food vendor section to the northeast portion of the site;

• Allow markets to operate at night.

The 29-acre flea market on Crows Landing Road was operating under a 12-month extension of a conditional use permit (CUP). That permit allowed the market to operate with changes to the operations, including use of a graveled overflow parking area for customers. After a number of delays, the city was awaiting a new site plan from El Rematito before the entire list of new conditions was presented.

El Rematito operators want to expand operations to develop an event hall as well as relocate the grub hub section from the southeast section of the site to the northeast corner. They also wish to add two more parcels to the use permit.

El Rematito operates Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is allowed to have up to 548 vendor spaces (155 enclosed spaces and 393 open air spaces)

Ceres resident John Warren said he was surprised to learn that night operations are proposed. Hoem said the night market “has always been part of the project” but stated it has been in the public notice, which was printed in the Courier.

Lot line adjustment

In other action the commission approved a lot line adjustment between two parcels on the east side of Morgan Road, 300 feet north of E. Service Road.

The adjustment created one parcel of 0.746 acres and the other sized at 3.084 acres. The intent of the adjustment is to place the Kiddie Kingdom Day Care playground and the strip mall on the same parcel. 

Property owner Tom Mitsopoulos of Ceres plans to sell the 3-acre parcel for development.