City Council May 6th meeting overview

The Clovis City Council is photographed.(left to right) Mayor Pro-Tem Vong Mouanoutoua, Councilman Matt Basgall, Mayor Lynne Ashbeck, Councilwoman Diane Pearce, Councilman Drew Bessinger

May 8, 2024 – Mayor Ashbeck was absent for the May 6th city council meeting, and Mayor Pro Tem Mouantoua led the meeting.

Claudia Cazares represented the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG), to provide an estimated allocation of $650,000 to provide benefits for lower to moderate income people in Clovis.

The CDBG program funds are often granted to people of low to moderate income status who need help rehabilitating their homes.

Cezares said that recent projects included mostly senior citizens and mostly mobile homes.

One resident of a mobile home was assisted in having her flooring and sliding door replaced, and a homeowner was assisted in having their roof replaced.

A widely used part of their housing rehab offerings is replacing windows, which helps reduce mold growth in homes.

In addition to housing rehabilitation, CDBG budgets for services to the Clovis Senior Center and Marjaree Mason Center, and also for street improvements.

CDBG plans to allocate $124,000  for a new sidewalk on Santa Ana Avenue, and $143,500 for the improvement of an alley at Holland and Richert Avenues.

The medium-high density development being planned for the area north of Shepherd Avenue, between Sunnyside and Fowler Avenues was brought back to the council with some amendments.

Mainly, the development by Wilson Homes will include 580 units, instead of 605, a reduction made possible by their commitment to build larger, single-level units in the northmost portion of the planned development.

George Gonzalez, Senior Planner, says that the city received a piece of correspondence on the project from the residents of Quail Run community, giving their conditional support of the project.

Their support stems from the amendments made to the plan; including the reduction of the number of units, the increase in privacy efforts for the existing residents, and the addition of a water line along Perrin Avenue and adding 3 stub out locations in the Quail Run community.

Residents of Quail Run were not in attendance, but neighbors from south of Shepherd Avenue were present for public comment.

Yvette and Albert Sanchez, residents of the south side of Shepherd Avenue, said “we are still not in agreement with this project.”

The developments across the street from their home include a widening of Shepherd Avenue, to facilitate a 4-lane road, which will remove some land from the front of their property.

Gonzalez responded to the comments from residents, saying that the project north of Shepherd Avenue is facilitating the widening of the road, not creating the need.

Although city staff clarified that a movement to eminent domain is not being committed to at this meeting, there is still a possibility of that action if an agreement is not reached between the developer and residents.

The city council moved forward with approval of all of the amendments to the project, including a rezoning of 77 acres from Fresno County land to City of Clovis land, expanding the City of Clovis sphere of influence to those 155 acres being developed.

The meeting closed with a comment from City Manager John Holt, that public comments will be changed from 5 minutes of allowed time to 3 minutes, to make meetings more efficient, in compliance with the Brown Act.

Mayor Pro Tem Mouantoua brought up changing Clovis to a charter city, considering growth, and City Manager Holt requested that the city begin that process after the November election. This was approved by the council.

The meeting ended with a congratulations to the Clovis Rodeo Association from Councilmember Diane Pearce, and a proclamation to recognize the Special Olympics by Councilmember Matt Basgall.