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Second Panda Express, flea market issues postponed
Proposed Panda Ceres
A new Panda Express for the Ceres Gateway Center will be considered by the Ceres Planning Commission on April 1.

Erroneous information included in the staff report relating to El Rematito Flea Market’s Conditional Use Permit (CUP) prompted the cancellation of Monday evening’s scheduled meeting of the Ceres Planning Commission.

The cancellation of the meeting also delayed consideration of a proposal for a second Panda Express in Ceres.

Ceres City Clerk Fallon Martin said both issues are scheduled to be considered by the commission on Monday, April 1.

It’s unknown if the “bad information” in the staff report was prepared by Community Development Director Christopher Hoem who was terminated last month.

A new Panda Express is proposed for the southernmost point of Ceres Gateway Center, approximately two miles south of the existing Panda at Hatch and Mitchell roads. The site is south of the gas station under construction next to Highway 99.

The commission will be asked to approve a Specific Plan Site Plan (SPSP) to construct a 2,623 square foot building for a Panda Express restaurant with dual drive-thru lanes, landscaping, trash enclosure, and pedestrian path-of-travel in the Ceres Gateway Center.

The restaurant joins a slew of businesses which have already opened, including Quick Quack Car Wash, Chipotle, Ono Hawaiian BBQ, In-N-Out Burger, Popeye’s Chicken, Starbucks and Tractor Supply. In addition, construction is taking place on a Woodspring Inn & Suites.

Modifications to the El Rematito Flea Market CUP have faced considerable delays for various reasons.

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. 

Proposed changes to the CUP 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.

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).