Documenter: Heather Halsey Martinez

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Clovis City Council approved an updated Planning Division fee schedule that will increase the cost of permit and entitlement processing services. The fees were last updated 12 years ago and increases will range from a 137% increase for a single-family development rezone to a 35% increase for a commercial site plan review. 

  • They also approved an increase in Engineering division hourly rates from $115 to $119 per hour. Revised rates could take effect on Nov. 15, 2021.

The Scene

The Clovis City Council meeting took place on Sept. 13, 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.

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)

Bessinger was not in council chambers, but was present via Webex audio only. He was not in the meeting on Sept. 7 either. 

Members of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) led the council in the Pledge of Allegiance. They wore Revolutionary War garb and held what appeared to be an American flag, Betsy Ross flag, Gadsden flag, California flag and SAR flag. They placed them in flag stands so they stood upright in the council chambers. 

Randy Dhindsa, president and registrar for the Yosemite Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, then introduced members of the color guard. He then presented the council with a certificate for their support of veterans groups, military and “American values.” 

From there, the meeting was open for public comments, but no one spoke in the chambers or online. 


  • Approved minutes from September 7 meeting. 

  • Approved a resolution outlining fire department personnel compensation reimbursement responding to emergency incidents or participating in mutual aid activities to outside agencies. 

    • The costs for responding to additional personnel and equipment to these emergencies has been fully reimbursed under the California Fire Assistance Agreement (CFAA) for more than 20 years. 

  • Approve waiving the formal bidding requirements and authorize the purchase of water truck for landfill operations off of the Sourcewell purchasing contract from Gibbs International, Inc. for $155,791.

    • Also amended the 2021-2022 Public Utilities Department Community Sanitation budget to allocate funds for the purchase. 

  • Approve bid award for a 2.5 MG water storage reservoir coating project to Unified Field Services Corporation in the amount of $676,270.

    • It was the lowest out of eight bids. 

  • Approve proposal award to Toter LLC for residential refuse, recycling and organic carts.

  • Approve a resolution amending plan check, inspection services, encroachment permits and community investment program rates. 

    • Supervising Civil Engineer Sean Smith presented the item.

    • Engineering division hourly rates increased from $115 to $119 per hour. 

    • Revised rates could take effect on Nov. 15, 2021.

    • Flores noted correspondence had been received. 

    • Ashbeck said she appreciated the outreach Smith did with the BIA. 

  • Approve the 2021 City of Clovis Planning Division fee schedule. 

    • Senior Planner George Gonzalez presented the item. 

      • He said the BIA was provided with the proposed fee schedule update for their review and comment on June 24, 2021. 

      • The BIA requested that they be implemented in two phases, half now and half in one year. 

      • Staff did not recommend using the phased approach because it has not been updated in 12 years and would further delay collection of fees, which fully cover costs. 

    • The current fee schedule was adopted in 2009. 

      • Conditional use permits will increase 40%

      • Tentative tract map will increase 36%

      • General plan amendments will increase 52%

      • Rezone or prezone for single-family developments will increase 137%

      • Site plan review for commercial development will increase 35% 

      • Variance for non-residential increase 56%

    • Mouanoutoua said that he wants to make sure they are providing a quality service. 

    • Ashbeck was worried about the 150% increase and said she would be inclined to do half now and half later as requested by the BIA. But said they shouldn’t wait 12 years again to increase fees. 

    • Flores asked how long Fresno has had their fees and Gonzalez said it’s been since August 2020. Flores said they’ve been getting a discount since then. 

    • Bessinger spoke, but was very hard to understand due to feedback. 

    • Whalen moved to approve the increase and that they take effect on schedule. 

    • Ashbeck voted no, all others voted yes. Approved 4-1. 

Flores opened the meeting for comments by City Manager Luke Serpa. Serpa gave an update on COVID cases. He shared graphs showing 122,407 confirmed cases in Fresno County. He said the numbers are trending down. He said the deaths in the third wave are less than the first wave, even though the cases in the third wave are higher, which he attributed to the vaccine. Flores said that those who have natural immunity by having the virus also, should be factored in and that he thinks no one mentions that. 

Flores then opened the meeting for council comments:

  • Bessinger said he is planning to be back next week. 

  • Ashbeck acknowledged the passing of a longtime leader in Clovis Unified. She also thanked Serpa and the team for picking up an abandoned desk that she mentioned at the last meeting. 

  • Flores thanked everyone involved in the Sept. 11 memorial ceremony the Saturday prior. “Everyone says never forget, but it’s open to interpretation,” he said. He said former New York City firefighter Andy Isolano attended the ceremony and he liked what he said. He said that he now lives in Florida, but came back for the ceremony. 

The meeting adjourned at 6:45 p.m. The next meetings will be Sept. 20 and Oct. 4, 11 and 18. 

If you believe anything in these notes is inaccurate, please email us at with “Correction Request” in the subject line.

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