Proposed Clovis senior facility denied for now

A developer’s plan to build a senior assisted-living facility on this undeveloped property on Ness Avenue, east of the Buchanan Estates neighborhood, was denied by the Clovis City Council. Daniel Leon/Clovis Roundup

A developer’s plan to build an assisted-living facility in Clovis is denied for now, but he will have another chance to make his case.

At the Clovis City Council meeting on Monday, the council voted to deny the proposal without prejudice, allowing developer Matt O’Brien to address the neighbors’ concerns and present his proposal again in less than a year.

Neighbors had been fighting against the plan, citing noise concerns and traffic issues that could be caused by the development.

Clovis resident David Ewing said the facility is important, but the issues must be addressed.

“It was never about the type of development,” Ewing said. “It was about some of the safety issues like the driveway being close to where little kids walk to school everyday.”

The development was planned on Nees Avenue, east of Willow, providing assistance for seniors with memory issues.

Ewing said O’Brien must listen to the neighbors to fix the issues.

“It could be a good thing as long as we are able to work with the developer,” Ewing said. “In the past, what he has done is come to us with a completed plan. When we said that’s really too big for this lot, it really doesn’t work and we gave him reasons why, he was upset and tended to dismiss what we had to say. That’s how we ended up here.”

At the meeting Monday, O’Brien asked the councilmembers what would be expected of him in his new proposal.

Councilmember Lynne Ashbeck said that’s a question that should have been asked when O’Brien first started planning.

“Your question is about three years too late,” Ashbeck said. “That’s a question you could have asked after it failed the first time. It’s the right question. I just wish you could have asked it earlier.”

Still, Ashbeck said she is comfortable denying it without prejudice if O’Brien works with the neighbors to figure out what is a reasonable compromise.

Ashbeck recommended for O’Brien to find reasonable hours of delivery, to relocate the driveway and to do a traffic study in the area.

Ewing said there are already a number of u-turn and left turn conflicts in that block which can create issues.

The neighbors hope for a meeting with O’Brien.

“It would be nice to give him some input and tell him what our concerns are,” Ewing said. “We care about our seniors too. It certainly isn’t about being anti-assisted living. It just needs to be within a plan that works with the confines of the lot.”

Ashbeck added that the city has been fair in listening to all sides of the case.

“We all weighed the facts in our mind and didn’t feel like what you presented was a reasonable accommodation,” Ashbeck told O’Brien. “We would welcome a development there but it’s about trying to ensure an orderly planning of transition and integrate with a single-family neighborhood.”

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