Planning Commission Vote to Amend Zone Standards for New Homes

The City of Clovis Planning Commission held a meeting on January 28, 2021. (City of Clovis)

On Thursday, Jan. 28, the City of Clovis Planning Commission held a meeting. One of the items on their agenda was a request to amend the standards of the Single Family Residential Medium Density (R-1-MD) zone district.

These standards will be used for single family home developments. However, they will not affect the Planned Residential Development (PDR) zone district.

The standard that will be implemented will deal with issues from dedications, street improvements, utility design and installation requirements, grading and drainage features.

For the design of the homes, the standards that will be implemented are building setbacks, height, driveway and parking configurations, fencing, exterior design, aesthetics, and rear-yard trash receptacle placement with all-weather path to the curb.

Also, there would be several development code amendments implemented with the vote. However, several commissioners were not happy with one of those amendments.

The development code amendment in question was the reduction of the side setback from 5 feet to 4 feet on the garage side and 3 feet on the interior side.

Commissioner Mike Cunningham asked if the city had done any research on the size of the trash receptacles that usually are stored on the garage side.

Cunningham further explained that his trash receptacles are 42 inches wide. If they plan on reducing the side setback from 5 to 4 feet, that would only leave 6 inches of space on the side.

City Planner Dave Merchen mentioned that the city knew of the limitations of space in that area. However, the city determined the space was adequate for the minimum standard.

Cunningham expressed his concern about the quality of life for the residents of Clovis and how they will live with this problem.

“I’m looking at quality of life, Clovis has a certain reputation…we want to put those garbage totes somewhere and if we can’t put them on the side of the residence, then they’re going to have to go in the garage.” Cunningham said.

Commissioner Amy Hatcher asked if there is a way for those households to get a smaller trash receptacle. She was informed each resident has the opportunity to call the city and request for a small trash receptacle if they want.

Commissioner Alma Antuna agreed with commissioner Cunningham. She stated that trying to get your trash receptacles out will be an inconvenience and will result in more trash receptacles out on the curb.

Commissioner Paul Hinkle presented another problem with the side yard reduction. Hinkle said the space limitation could create a hazard for first responders and lives might be at-risk if they are not able to get into the house in time.

The commission motioned to amend the standard but with an exemption to revert side yard space from 4 to 5 feet. The vote was 4-1 with commissioner Hatcher being the only no to the amendment.

Jorge Rodriguez
Jorge Rodriguez has a passion for journalism and wants to bring the community information and great stories. After high school Jorge joined the U.S. Army and while in active duty he was deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in college he worked for the Fresno City College Rampage and the Fresno State Collegian newspapers. He graduated from Fresno State in 2019 with a degree in print journalism.