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Planning commission OKs canopy for fueling island
Pacific Pride Cardlock is looking to construct a fuel canopy after getting the green light from the Ripon Planning Commission to continue pursuing the plan.

The Ripon Planning Commission doesn’t go against staff recommendations too often.

But in the case of Pacific Pride Cardlock’s appeal hearing, Commissioners sided with the appellant – in this case, Ron Van De Pol, president of Pacific Pride Cardlock – while disagreeing with staff’s determination of the nonconformity provisions on the proposed site improvement project at the Monday meeting.

Pacific Pride Cardlock, which, according to Van De Pol, has been at the same location at 816 S. Frontage Rd. for the past 34 years, is looking to construct a fuel canopy on the property. “We’re not looking to increase the footprint or the property size – we just make it look nicer,” he said.

Van De Pol added that the fuel canopy would provide lighting and site security to the area. Pacific Pride Cardlock operates in the same area of Big Valley Truck Wash, servicing trucks while featuring renewable diesel containing no oil also known as biodiesel fuel.

The next step for the applicant is to go through the City’s minor site plan application process. Planning Director Ken Zuidervaart said the project would go through the appropriate conditions of approval, including landscaping of the site, sidewalk installation, etc.

He noted that the reason for denial had to do with land-use the change in zoning.

Pacific Pride Cardlock was in an area zoned for Heavy Industrial. That changed to Mixed Use in 2015 with the City of Ripon adopting the North Pointe Specific Plan.

With that, the Pacific Pride Cardlock project was now in a “legal non-conforming” use.

“The City’s municipal code is very specific on how to handle legal non-conforming use,” Zuidervaart said.

NPSP was years in the making for the city and is comprised of about 310 acres in the area bounded by the Mistlin Sports Park to the north and the Highway 99 freeway to the south – sandwiched in between Fulton Avenue (east) and Jack Tone Road (west).

NPSP calls for a mixed use of neighborhood and regional, serving commercial, technology, offices, recreation, entertainment and residential.

Zuidervaart said that it was staff’s opinion that the construction of a fuel canopy that never existed in the past is an expansion of a non-conforming use and was the reason for the denied building application.

A nearby mini storage was also denied for the same reason in plans for expansion. Jimco Truck Stop did get the go-ahead to undergo reconstruction, but started the approval process for this project prior to NPSP adoption in June 2015.

Van De Pol indicated that Pacific Pride Cardlock has a lease with the property owner through 2033.

Commissioners believe the  business is here for the long haul.

“They’ve been here for 34 years and could here for another 12,” said Debra Van Essen, who drives past this area daily en route to her office in Manteca.

She welcomes seeing such this improvement along the frontage road.