Thursday, April 5, 2012

Important planning decision at city council meeting tonight

This merits a long and lengthy post, but I've no time at all, so I shall let some other sources speak to what is going on.

The Fresno City Council is to vote on the 2035 general plan as recommended by the planning commission. A long list of developers who depend on sprawl development to make all their money are lining up on one side, so it's important to either attend the meeting or email the council-members asking them to oppose the developers and approve what the planning commission came up with (after months of community input).

The planning option is far...(far!) from perfect, but if the developers oppose it, you know they've done something right.

Of course, the developers want to ignore months of public process and get whatever they want.

Bill McEwen writes:

Now, after the formation of a citizens committee, 12 community workshops and a citywide telephone survey, we're about to see if the City Council has the backbone to stand up to developers seeking more Fresno sprawl.

The test comes 5 p.m. Thursday when the council selects one of five options for the 10-year update to the 2025 General Plan.

The Planning Commission last month unanimously approved "Alternative A," which would add 76,000 housing units. Thirty-nine thousand of the new residences would be in existing neighborhoods and 37,000 in planned growth areas.

But two days before the Planning Commission vote, developers unveiled their ideas during a citizen committee and community workshop at Dailey Elementary Charter School. A Building Industry Association executive then presented "Alternative E" to the Planning Commission.

The entire article is well worth reading.

Jamie Holt has a summary of what the 5 options were


The Boulevard Plan: Focuses on infill development, encourages higher density and stays well within the city's current sphere of influence (SOI).

The Growth Areas Plan: Second-highest amount of additional land annexed but still within the current SOI, allows for medium density in growth areas.

The Expanded Sphere of Influence Plan: The status quo plan with the lowest density and the greatest SOI boundary expansion.

The Hybrid Plan: A combination of the first three alternatives, expansion of the SOI for medium density development and higher density development in infill areas.

A fifth alternative was developed independently, outside of the public process, by a stakeholder group. This "Alternative E" is very similar to "Alternative C."

Fresno Bee


It's not just zoning that is at stake, as the general plan also affects the ways people get around. If the city approves more exurban sprawl in agricultural land, it means 15 mile car commutes. Infill development allows for more people to get around on their own.

Ibikefresno writes on their page


Council is considering the alternatives of the general plan update. Planning commission has selected the option most favorable to cyclists in Fresno, but least preferred by the building industry association. The BIA is lobbying council against this option.

We need people who use the bike lanes to come speak your support for the infrastructure. We need new faces before council. If you support the bike lanes or have recently started using them, please come let the Council know Fresno supports them.
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The council meets today at 5pm to discuss the matter. I'd bet that the final vote will be delayed, but if enough people speak up for option a, and oppose the developers, hopefully the council can vote on it tonight.

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