Documenter: Heather Halsey Martinez

Here’s what you need to know

  • The council approved the rejection of the general liability claim for Hermandeep Nagra, the former Clovis City Council candidate arrested for allegedly stealing campaign signs from two rival candidates. A member of the public called the city and Mouanoutoua’s prosecution of Nagra, “vindictive,” and said they, “persist in prosecuting Nagra as if he were some sort of dangerous criminal.” 

  • The council moved forward several new single-family housing developments, including three Bonadelle Homes developments consisting of nearly 200 homes and seven homes by De Young Properties on Shaw and Locan Avenues.

  • The council delayed voting on a proposed three-story 40-unit multi-family development on approximately 1.6 acres located near Old Town Clovis. Five residents spoke in opposition to the proposed development and four letters were received opposing the project, which caused city staff to request a continuance so the developer could address the concerns.

The Scene

The Clovis City Council meeting took place on July 19, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was made available via Webex and YouTube Live. The agenda no longer states that face masks are required for those who attend in person due to COVID-19 and none of the council members wore face masks.

Ashbeck was not in council chambers, but was present on Webex, although she did not have her camera on. 

Names of officials:

Jose Flores, Mayor (also Chief of Police, State Center Community College District Police Department)

Lynne Ashbeck, Mayor Pro Tem (also Senior Vice President Community Engagement and Population Wellness, Valley Children’s Healthcare)

Vong Mouanoutoua, Council Member (also External Relations and Project Development Director, Community Medical Foundation)

Bob Whalen, Council Member (also Fresno County Deputy District Attorney)

Drew Bessinger, Council Member (also Chief of Police, Fresno Yosemite International Airport)

The meeting opened with Mouanoutoua leading the council in the Pledge of Allegiance. 

From there, the meeting was open for public comments, but no one spoke in the chambers or online. It was stated that no correspondence was received either.


  • Approved agreement between Clovis and the Economic Development Corporation Serving Fresno County. The agreement authorizes up to $50,000 for the EDC.

  • Received and filed investment report for April 2021.

  • Received and filed treasurer’s report for April 2021.

  • Received and filed investment report for May 2021.

  • Received and filed treasurer’s report for May 2021.

  • Received and filed an update to investment strategy.

  • Approved the claim rejection for the general liability claim for Hermandeep Nagra.   

    • Mouanoutoua and Ashbeck recused themselves from this item. “Because it involved a campaign that I was in the race for,” Ashbeck said.

    • Rachel Edelman was online to comment on the event. She said that Nagra faces a year in jail for, “removing Vong Mouanoutoua’s improperly placed campaign signs.”

      • “It was an election not even a quarter of registered Clovis voters showed up to participate in,” she said. “So for this crime at least ten SWAT team officers showed up early in the morning January 28 at Nagra’s family home, they pounded on the door, ransacked the house and handcuffed Herman Nagra.”

      • “Mouanoutoua and the City of Clovis apparently, persist in prosecuting Nagra as if he were some sort of dangerous criminal,” Edelman said. 

      • “Mouanoutoua is the reporting party for this crime so he’s responsible for the unwarranted arrest and maltreatment of Nagra,” she said. “And I wonder why Vong Mouanouta is not held to account for having offered prizes for votes in the last election, it seems to me that this is a far more serious violation and he didn’t suffer any consequences for that.”

      • She said she called the city many times in the last election with specific locations of signs posted on public property, which is not permissible, but the signs were not removed before the election. 

      • “I think the pursuit of treatment by Mouanoutoua and the city is vindictive and it seems to reflect a small-minded man who has a glorified sense of his public position,” she said. “It’s completely inappropriate that Nagra is being prosecuted for this in this manner. For me, it confirms my sense that Mouanoutoua is unfit to serve the public.”

      • Another public comment was noted as received. 

      • Whalen said that he works for the office involved in the prosecution of Nagra, but has purposely not been involved in the case. 

  • Approved the city manager to execute a 36-month HVAC service contract.

  • Approved authorizing the use of California Senate Bill 1 state transit assistance-State of Good Repair funds for transit operations.

  • Approved the city manager to execute a 36-month janitorial service contract.

  • Approved final tract map for a Bonadelle Homes development located on Shaw Avenue between Leonard and Highland Avenues.

    • Also approved the annexation of this development to the landscape maintenance district no. 1.

  • Approved final tract map for a Bonadelle Homes development on the north side of Shaw Avenue, west of Highland Avenue.

    • Also approved the annexation of this development to the landscape maintenance district no. 1.

  • Approved the final tract map and annexation for a Bonadelle Homes development located in the southeast area of Leonard and Barstow Avenues. 

    • Also approved the annexation of this development to the landscape maintenance district no. 1.

  • Continued to Sept. 7 items associated with a proposed three-story 40-unit multi-family development on approximately 1.6 acres located along the east side of Osmun Avenue and the west side of Baron Avenue, north of Second Street, which include a requested rezone and amendment to the general plan. 

    • Received four letters of opposition and the continuance was requested so the applicant can address the concerns. 

    • The applicant Dirk Poeschel was in council chambers and said they, “welcome the opportunity to meet with the neighbors,” and were aware of a letter from an attorney. 

    • A man living near the proposed development was in council chambers said he didn’t receive the traffic report. 

    • Wilson Bereto was also in council chambers and said he was a co-owner of Plum Tree Apartments in the area. He said he had questions about the development. 

    • Jeff Pace also lives in the area and said it was previously on the docket prior to the pandemic. He said his attorney has been talking to Poeschel. “Everyone I talk to really struggles with the three-story nature given the character of Old Town Clovis,” Pace said.

    • Another property owner was in council chambers. He said the project is too big and will look like a hotel in the middle of the neighborhood. “Let’s keep Clovis, Clovis, that’s really what we want to do,” he said. 

    • Eric Chapman was in council chambers. 

    • Three written comments were also noted as received. 

    • Ashbeck asked Poeschel about the investment groups, TPC Investments LLC and Fly Line Investments, and who the principals were. He said the investors are Robert Garavello and Anthony Higamin who were also in council chambers. 

  • Approved a request to amend the general plan and redesignate approximately 2.71 acres near the southeast corner of Sierra Vista Parkway and Shaw Avenue so the Courtyard by Marriott being built there can serve liquor in its restaurant.

    • Assistant Planner Kelsey George presented the item.

    • A Courtyard by Marriott is currently under construction on the land and the owner would like to serve liquor in the restaurant for on-site consumption, which it is not currently zoned to allow. 

    • Approved rezoning the land from the office planned land use classification to the general commercial planned land use classification.  the administrative/professional office zone district to the commercial community zone district.

    • Whalen asked about the over saturation of liquor licenses and George said that that only applies to licenses for off-site consumption for liquor stores, and that she isn’t aware of how many licenses are in the area for on-site consumption. 

    • Whalen then asked the applicant, Taren Thandi, how many licenses are in the census tract for on-site consumption and he didn’t know either. 

    • Bessinger asked what the seating capacity would be. Thandi said it would be 100 including the lobby, but the bar would seat approximately 10 people. He said they will prepare and serve snack foods. 

    • Bessinger had Thandi confirm that there would be no live music and no dancing. 

  • Approved amendments to the general plan and a tentative tract map for a 17-lot single family development by De Young Properties on approximately 3.54 acres of land on the northeast corner of Shaw and Locan Avenues.

    • Flores recused himself because he lives across from the property.

    • City Planner Dave Merchen presented the item. 

    • Clovis Christian Church currently owns the property.

    • Merchen said there would be no net loss in housing due to the rezone and there are adequate remaining sites to meet Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) requirements.

    • Bessinger asked if residents would have to go back out to Locan Avenue to access the adjacent trail and Merchen said that was the case. 

    • Ashbeck said she appreciated Merchen presenting the housing numbers. 

    • Mouanoutoua asked about the numbers presented by Merchen, specifically 124 units that were removed from inventory.

    • Mouanoutoua also asked about the dirt lot near Clovis Christian adjacent to development and if it could be expedited. Merchen said if he asks De Young Properties he could, “guess what their answer might be.” 

    • Brandon De Young was in council chambers. He said it is adjacent to an existing community called Legacy Square. “We feel this is truly a win-win-win opportunity, obviously for us, the community and the church,” he said. 

    • De Young also said they can cover the cost of extending the sidewalk along Locan Avenue and will work with the church on that. 

    • A letter had been received as well. 

  • Approved the City of Clovis 2021-2025 consolidated plan and 2021-22 annual action plan for expenditure of community development block grant (CDBG) funds. 

    • Community and Economic Development Director Andrew Haussler presented the item.

    • City staff conducted more than 50 interviews with agencies and residents to identify gaps in services for disadvantaged populations. 

    • Five-year goals and allocations for CDBG funds:

      • $1.5 million for public facility improvements

      • $683,421 for the preservation of affordable housing units

      • $250,000 for economic development and job creation for low-income individuals

      • $561,558 for providing code enforcement as a public service to low-to-moderate income neighborhoods

    • HUD has allocated $748,745 to Clovis for additional projects, including housing rehabilitation, alley reconstruction, area-cased policing (code enforcement) and administration.

    • Ashbeck asked if the City of Clovis does have a food pantry program. Haussler said they don’t but they partner with other organizations that provide those services, such as the Salvation Army. 

    • Whalen asked about the list of priorities and how much administrative costs were. Haussler said it’s typically 12-14%. 

    • Bessinger said he likes this program and thinks they have a very measured response, like helping elderly and disabled community members. 

    • Mouanoutoua said he liked how detailed the report was and that he agrees with Bessinger. He said that those in, “poor neighborhoods,” can get a response from code enforcement just like those in newer developments.

Flores then opened the meeting for comments by City Manager Luke Serpa. He said they are preparing for the Shaw Avenue widening project and will be holding a community meeting on Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. at Clovis East High School. 

Flores then opened the meeting for council comments. Ashbeck said the Measure C steering committee continues to work through the process and early in the fall they will decide whether to move forward with the 2022 ballot initiative. She also said she has seen a lot of questions on the Nextdoor app concerning parking on city streets and asked if someone could address that. She also requested that when previous votes are referred to on staff reports, if they can provide some background and also if principals on investors could be listed. 

Bessinger said the juvenile work program was out doing community projects last weekend. 

Flores said that there are two olympians preparing to compete in Tokyo, Bryson DeChambeau and Jenna Prandini from Clovis. 

The meeting then moved into closed session at 7:25 p.m. to discuss existing litigation, Lisa De Gunya v. City of Clovis, et al. Serpa said they may have actions to report back, but then the live stream and Webex ended without further explanation. 

The next meeting is scheduled on Aug. 2 The council will then take summer recess from Aug. 3 to Sept. 6 and reconvene on Sept. 7. 

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