Holiday ice rink in Turlock could double in size

jholland@modbee.comApril 29, 2014 

— Skaters might double their space for gliding and twirling at a Christmas-season ice rink on the east edge of town.

The Turlock Planning Commission on Thursday will consider a request to enlarge the Fields of Ice rink, which launched its first season in late November at Daubenberger Road and Canal Drive.

The skating surface would increase from 4,800 to 9,600 square feet under the proposal, which could go before the City Council for a final vote May 27. The operators also are asking to continue attractions that date to 2011, including a Halloween pumpkin patch, hay and corn mazes, a produce stand and a Christmas tree lot.

The applicant is Ron Macedo, a farmer and chairman of the Turlock Irrigation District board.

“Not in my wildest dreams did I think it would be as successful as it was,” he said of the rink Tuesday.

The expansion would make the rink more comfortable for skaters, Macedo said, and a tent is planned for part of it to protect them from rainy weather. He said no such protection was needed this past winter, but that was because of a drought that was not at all welcome.

The proposal includes a nine-day extension of the season, to the third week of January.

The site is just outside Turlock’s city limit but within its “sphere of influence,” a potential growth area that is now mostly farmland. A city staff report said the commission should consider whether the rink and its parking lot could clash with the area’s agricultural character.

“There are no definite criteria establishing when a use of this type crosses the line and becomes an urban commercial use that should no longer be permitted,” the report said.

Thursday’s agenda includes updates on the city’s Active Transportation Plan, which encourages walking and bicycling, and a financing program for making homes energy-efficient.

The commission will meet at 6 p.m. at Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.

Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at jholland@modbee.com or (209) 578-2385.

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