In response to The Bee article "County needs hustle on jobs" (Sept. 8, Page A-1), we feel compelled to respond to the conclusion that there is a lack of available land for economic development.
In November 2006, the city of Turlock approved the Westside Industrial Specific Plan (WISP). It provides the basis for development of just over
2,600 acres west of Highway 99. Today, approximately 2,000 acres are in the city limits, with over 1,400 acres available and zoned for industrial and business park purposes. These parcels range a half acre to almost 80 acres. Adequate sewer and water capacity exist and an Environmental Impact Report has been completed and certified for the entire area. This is not land that still needs to be planned, annexed or for which water and sewer capacity must be found.
Another 620 acres will be before the Stanislaus County Local Agency Formation Commission later this month to complete the annexation of the master-planned area. The entire area is designated industrial reserve and will be zoned industrial upon annexation.
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In addition, the Turlock Redevelopment Agency has committed over $8 million in bond proceeds for infrastructure and a fee relief program unique to the WISP area. Portions of the WISP are also in the Enterprise Zone, providing state tax benefits to employers locating within the zone.
Turlock city councils, past and present, have worked hard to provide land for economic development. We sincerely believe that Turlock can, and will, continue to meet the land needs of our growing business community.
JOHN LAZAR, mayor
and all four members of the Turlock City Council