Approval of Action Meeting Minutes from the August 9, 2016, Planning Commission Regular Meeting.

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Meeting Date: September 13, 2016


AUGUST 9, 2016

A regular meeting of the Livingston Planning Commission was held in the City Council Chambers on August 9, 2016. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Chair Ranjeet Jhutti.

ROLL CALL Commissioners Present: Chair Ranjeet Jhutti, Vice-Chair Mario Mendoza, Commissioner Adanan Bath, Commissioner Francisco Mendoza-Gonzalez, CommissionerWarren Umberg, and Alternate Commissioner Bob Wallis.

Commissioners Absent: None

Staff Present: Contract City Planner Randy Hatch and Sr. Administrative Analyst

Filomena Arredondo.

Others Present: Dana McCarroll, Fire Apparatus Engineer (Livingston Fire Department); Mario Manzo (Tacos Michoacan Food Truck); and Mike Torres.


The pledge of allegiance to the flag was recited.



Motion by Commissioner Umberg, seconded by Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez, to approve the minutes of the Regular Planning Commission Meeting of February 9, 2016, and the minutes of the Joint

City Council and Planning Commission Special Meeting of February 23, 2016. Motion carried 5-0, by the following roll call vote:

AYES: Chair Jhutti, Vice-Chair Mendoza and Commissioners Bath, Mendoza-Gonzalez, and Umberg




Chair Jhutti opened the public comment period at 7:03 p.m. and closed it immediately thereafter as there were no public comments.



This is a Conditional Use Permit to relocate Tacos Michoacan Food Truck from its current location in front of Livingston True Value Hardware Store at 324 Main Street, to a new location in front of the car wash at 743 Main Street, APN: 24-144-008. Both locations are zoned Downtown Commercial (DTC) which allows such a use subject to obtaining a Use Permit.

City Planner Randy Hatch presented the staff report and recommended approval of the project based on the findings and conditions of approval contained in Exhibit A of the resolution.

The food truck will be located between the two trees. Given that the self-service car wash has plenty of paving and maneuvering room, there are no issues with circulation or parking. The food truck operator has obtained permission from the property owner to locate the food truck there. Any electricity that is needed will tier off of the car wash service. There are two existing lights that will remain in the parking lot and the food truck itself also has lights.

Staff routed the project information to other City departments to see if they had any concerns or comments. No comments were offered. Staff looked at this project from an environmental point of view and it qualifies for a categorical exception from CEQA as a small accessory structure.

City Planner Hatch said he thinks the issue of having food trucks in the downtown in relative proximity to one another is a positive thing. Ifsomebody doesn’t like one food truck, they can go to the other.

Each food truck has their dedicated customers. Commissioners’ Questions/Comments: Alternate Commissioner Wallis

• Asked if this food truck will have outdoor seating.

City Planner Hatch responded that is not part of the proposal.

• Asked about the proposed light to be installed up against the sidewalk next to the food truck.

City Planner Hatch said the light will be directed to the food truck rather than the street or adjacent residential properties.

• Asked how they will provide electrical power to the food truck and if they will be using extension cords.

City Planner Hatch said they will be connecting power for the truck’s use and that will have to meet building code requirements.

• Asked what the City plans for the lot where the food truck is currently located.

City Planner Hatch said it is the City’s desire to maintain that area as a public use parking lot for all the businesses downtown; however, that is still an ongoing process.

Commissioner Urnberg

• Thinks they need to have garbage can on-site.

Chair Jhutti said keeping the area clean is already addressed in the conditions of approval – Condition No. 7.

• Back in the 1990’s, the Planning Commission disapproved any stools, tables, or chairs for food trucks. The reason for that is because the food trucks compete with sit down restaurants. However, two City Managers ago when the Court Theater building was demolished, the City made a park on the Court Theater lot and put tables and chairs there. The City Manager then directed City staff to put the extra tables and chairs next to the truck on D and Main Streets. We are now telling this taco truck that they cannot have tables and chairs. That is not right. It should be the same for both.

City Planner Hatch said we are saying that is not part of this proposal, so if he wants to add tables and chairs, he has to come back to amend his Use Permit. He added that he has not seen the conditions of approval for the other food truck and does not know if it specifically prohibits tables and chairs. He will research that and if that is specified, he will talk to the Interim City Manager since the City is essentially the landlord of the property in question.

Discussion followed.

Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez

• Stated that even if this food truck wanted seating, there may not be enough space for it.

City Planner Hatch said they would have to make sure there is plenty of movement with cars going to and from the car wash if the applicant proposed that.

• Thinks the food truck should have two garbage cans on-site at all times. This will help keep the area clean.

City Planner Hatch said Condition No. 7 addresses keeping the area clean; however, additional language can be added to make it more specific if that is the direction of the Planning Commission.

Discussion followed.

• Given that the food truck is so close to residential uses, he thinks hours of operation should be added in the conditions of approval to try to maintain that calm, quiet nature of the residential zone. He suggested they be open until 10:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and maybe have longer hours on the weekend.

Discussion followed.

Vice-Chair Mendoza

• He doesn’t see the need for additional garbage cans as the car wash has garbage cans there already.

• He feels that having tables and chairs should be the decision of the food truck owner.

Chair Jhutti asked if the applicant was present to answer questions.

Mario Manzo, 2390 Walnut Avenue, Livingston, spoke on behalf of food truck owner, Raul Flores.

He said in reference to garbage cans, they have one can already, but they have no problem adding another can if that is necessary.

As for the hours of operation, during the summer, they operate from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and on weekends they stay open until 10:00 p.m., but usually not later than that for safety reasons. In the winter months, they stay open only until 8:00 p.m.

In reference to lighting, there are lights there already and they have lights on their food truck as well. They are not installing a light; they are only installing a pole so they can run the power across the parking lot. They will not use any extension cords. Everything will be installed per building code.

Chair Jhutti

• Thinks that rather than specifying the number of trash cans to have, they could add, "trash cans as appropriate" to Condition No. 7.

• Suggested the food truck operator takes recycling into account.

• Asked if staff sent out notifications to the nearby residents and businesses in the vicinity, including the other food truck on D and Main Streets.

City Planner Hatch said staff notifies only property owners within a 300-ft radius. Discussion followed.

Chair Jhutti opened for public comment at 7:28 p.m.

Mike Torres, 1616 8th Street, Livingston

• Asked where their restroom facility is located.

City Planner Hatch responded food trucks are not required to have restrooms.

• A food truck is design for people to order their food and take it home. Having tables and chairs makes it more like a mini restaurant and lingering is a potential.

• He remembers the other food truck had handicap parking and restroom requirements.

City Planner Hatch said Tacos Michoacan at its current location in front of True Value does not have restroom requirements. Ifthey need restroom facilities, they probably go into Livingston True Value. The other food truck on D and Main Streets uses the restroom facilities at City Hall. As for handicap parking, there are spaces nearby for both food trucks simply because they are required for Livingston True Value and for City Hall. Fixed places of business have to provide handicap parking, but there is no handicap parking requirement for mobile food vendors.

Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez said the health department is going to require that food truck employees or operators have access to restroom facilities in order to issue them a health permit.

City Planner Hatch responded that although no restrooms are required, food truck operators normally have some type of agreement with the place of business that they are renting from.

Discussion followed.

Chair Jhutti closed the public comment period at 7:40 p.m.

Chair Jhutti asked City Planner Hatch how long the Use Permit was good for.

City Planner Hatch replied there is no time limit on a Use Permit. However, it is a standard condition that it be subject to revocation if there are any noise or trash generations or other reasons why a revocation should happen, or if at any time the property owner objects to the food truck operating on his property. He added the Planning Commission, at their discretion, can have the Use Permit reviewed at a certain time to make sure it is operating properly.

Discussion followed.

Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez asked if there are any issues with food trucks and signage. City Planner said no signage other than the food truck itself is allowed.

Discussion followed regarding hours of operation.

Motion by Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez to amend the conditions of approval to require at least one trash receptacle be on-site at all times and that hours of operation be no later than 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and no later than 10:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Motion died due to lack of a second.

Motion by Vice-Chair Urnberg, seconded by Commissioner Bath, to adopt Planning Commission Resolution 2016-03, approving Conditional Use Permit 2016-01 for the Tacos Michoacan food truck at 743 Main Street, amending Condition No. 7 to require one trash receptacle or more, as needed, be kept on-site at all times. Motion carried 4-1, by the following roll call vote:

AYES:  Chair Jhutti, Vice-Chair Mendoza and Commissioners Bath and Umberg

NOES: Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez



Planning Commission Commissioner Mendoza-Gonzalez

• Thanked the Fire Department for their fast response to the recent tragic accident that happened at Highway 99 between the bus and the Hammatt Avenue exit sign.

Commissioner Wallis

• Waiting for feedback regarding his question on AB1234 compliance for Planning Commissioners. He brought it up to the City Council and the City Attorney about two months ago and he has received no response yet.

City Planner Hatch will follow up with Deputy City Clerk.


• Complained about vehicles parking in the front yard. There is a City ordinance against that.

City Planner Hatch said that is something the City Council has discretion on.

• He was the second of various War Veterans invited by the Central Valley Honor Flight to spend three days in Washington D.C. the end of June to visit all the memorials and it was a very moving experience. He particularly remembers one of the memorials that had a wall that said, "Freedom Is Not Free."

Chair Jhutti agrees that freedom is not free and thanked all the Veterans for the freedom that we enjoy today.

Commissioner Bath

No reports. Chair Mendoza No reports.

City Staff

City Planner Randy Hatch

• Housing Element has been adopted and was certified by the State, so the City is in full compliance with its Housing Element.

• Gave an update on the status of the Motel 6 project. They have indicated they are going to pick up their building permit and start grading soon.

• Gave an update on the status of the Gallo Project. It has been a long process, but they are moving forward with a traffic study. The City Attorney has been in negotiations with Gallo.

• The Livingston Community Health Clinic on Main Street is in the process of developing plans and specifications for the construction of their new facility on B Street. Their current location is owned by Merced County and the County has asked them to relocate because they need to use that building for other services.

• Staff has been working on some code enforcement issues.

Chair Jhutti said he heard some concerns from residents about the time it’s taking for the completion of the Main Street project and the inconvenience that it’s causing.

City Planner Hatch said Interim Public Works Director Noe Martinez can be contacted for more information on that project.


The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 8:12 p.m. APPROVED: September 13, 2016

Chair, RANJEET JHUTTI Secretary of the Planning Commission, RANDY HATCH

The written meeting minutes reflect a summary of specific actions taken by the Planning Commission. They do not necessarily reflect all of the comments or dialogue leading up to the action. All meetings are digitally recorded and are an official record of the meeting’s proceedings. Digitally recorded verbatim minutes are available upon request and may be obtained at Livingston City Hall.