If you'd like to sip more Lodi wine or find a learning center for a loved one with special needs, your wish could soon be a possibility. But smashing up concrete will have to wait.
The Lodi Planning Commission approved use permits for two wineries and a community care center for adults with special needs at its Wednesday meeting. But their decision on a concrete recycling plant was postponed until the May meeting.
Denise Lane, representing Person Centered Services of Stockton, presented an application to create a learning center for adults with special needs. The center is especially for ambulatory adults, so they will all be able to get around by themselves.
Many of these clients live in apartments or care homes, and would attend the center to learn skills for daily living and self-care, as well as gain independence and learn social skills, she said.
The center could enroll up to 45 students, and a three-to-one student-to-staff ratio is required by the state. The proposed site is located on the corner of Pioneer Drive and Cherokee Lane, and was previously used as an office and a church. Lane emphasized that the center will not be a daycare meant to ease a burden on family members. It will be a learning center to help adults with varying diagnoses learn how to get and hold a job, move into an apartment, and become more social.
"It's to find their voice," said Anne Marriot, who is employed with PCS.
Two similar centers are currently located in Stockton. Marriot said many clients are transported from Lodi to Stockton daily for classes, and this new center will bring the program to their own community.
The programs are funded through the Valley Mountain Regional Center and the California Department of Developmental Services.
The commission approved the permit nearly unanimously. Randy Heinitz and Debbie Olson were both absent.
Jeremy Wine Co. currently runs a tasting room on Pine Street in Lodi, but owners Jeremy and ChoralTrettevik want more room to make their wine. The wine is currently made in Victor at Wild Rose Vineyards. The Tretteviks applied to build a winery at 1002 Black Diamond Way to bring their production operation closer to their tasting room home base.
The location shares a parking lot with a small noodle-making company. City staff added two conditions to the permit. Waste must be removed within 24 hours, and trucks cannot block the roadways when lining up to drop off grapes.
Jeremy Trettevik said the space is ready to go. The new place will allow the Tretteviks to produce 2,000 cases of wine per year, and will include equipment for crushing and fermenting, a testing lab and a small office.
"We're pretty small and keeping it that way," he said.
The present commissioners approved the winery's permit with no problems. Jones recused himself from the decision because he lives nearby.
Another winery is also looking to expand. Jeff Hansen with AH Wines produces several labels and offers them for tasting through Hansen Garabino Vineyards on Locust Street.
Right now, the wines are made at several different locations throughout the area. Creating Lodi City Wines, as he plans to call the winery, will bring them all together.
"There's stuff everywhere. This will consolidate everything for us," said Hansen. Hansen said he looked at traditional winery sites, but decided on one in town because sewer, water and electrical lines are already hooked up. The site will be located on East Vine Street, and will be ready for crushing by Aug. 1. The new place will produce 300,000 to 400,000 cases a year.
But the permit that caused the most discussion among commissioners was David Burkhart's request to build a concrete recycling center called Lodi Aggregates. The business would crush discarded concrete chunks for one week each month, then sell various rock mixes made from the crushed product and other materials to landscapers and contractors. The East Lockeford Street location was previously used for storing construction materials and trucks. About 136 trucks per months will drive on and off the property.
Burkhart thanked the commissioners and city staff for their help in getting his business started.
"Every single person I've dealt with has held out a hand and said, 'We want you here,'" he said. "You read all the news stories about how you can't do business in California because of government, but that's not what I've seen in Lodi."
Commissioners were concerned about dust, noise and tall stacks of materials waiting to be sold or crushed.
A few conditions to the permit might throw off Burkhart's plans. One is that the stacks of prepared materials can't be higher than eight feet.
Another is a prohibition against crushing rock on-site due to the large machinery required. Burkhart described the equipment as a massive series of machines that crush, sort and sift rock and cement into the appropriate sizes. The machine would be hauled onand off-site as needed.
The biggest factor in how the material is handled is noise. If it's all dumped in big batches into the hopper for crushing, there is less noise than smashing smaller batches with a jack hammer or impacter machine. Anything too big to fit in the crusher is hauled off-site to be broken down.
The noise level must be no higher that 65 decibels, according to city regulations.
Commissioner Dave Kirsten asked if the crushing aspect was essential to the business, or whether it could be tabled for later approval.
"We're doing a lot of things on-site, but in the long run it's critical," said Burkhart.
The cost of required improvements to the sidewalk, curb and gutter and installation of a masonry wall to block sound adds up quickly, according to Burkhart, who doesn't want to make those changes unless he knows he will be able to crush cement. He said he would rather postpone the decision entirely than postpone just the crushing aspect.
Commissioner Nick Jones recused himself from the decision because he lives close by, but asked questions as a citizen about the brand of equipment used and how dust is controlled.
A letter of objection was submitted by F and H Construction on Lockeford Street asking the commission to deny any crushing on-site.
Frank Allegre runs a similar business on Turner Road, and said he is concerned about traffic on Lockeford Street.
He also doesn't think there is enough construction debris for both his company and the proposed new one to make a living at recycling concrete.
"I don't know where they're going to get all this product. They're not going to get enough material. How can you beat free? How can you compete with someone who is taking material for free?" he said, referencing his own business.
But Kirsten stopped those comments and said it's not important for the commission to worry about the financial future of businesses.
The commissioners decided to table the decision to learn more about the crushing equipment and to see it at work.
"I apologize. It's not your fault I'm not up to speed," said Kirsten.
Burkhart said he is willing to wait until the May 8 meeting, but pushing back much farther than that cuts into the time he can be in business this year and keep his equipment and land leases active.
Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at firstname.lastname@example.org.