Documenter: Heather Halsey Martinez

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Clovis City Council approved 3-2 a planned development permit allowing for deviations from single-family residential zone district standards for an eight-lot Gary McDonald subdivision near North Armstrong and Nees Ave., including increased lot coverage from 40% to 55% and decreased setbacks on all sides, other than the garage side.

  • Approved a two-year extension of a sales tax participation agreement between the City of Clovis and Anlin Industries, Inc. The agreement began in 2017 and rebates back 50% of the growth in sales tax up to $500,000 over a 10-year period since Anlin purchased the adjacent parcel and demolished the structures on the site in an expansion effort.

  • Approved one utility worker position for a new Clovis Household Hazardous Waste Antifreeze, Batteries, Bulbs, Oil and Paint Drop-off Site located at 79 N. Sunnyside Ave. It’s planned to open in Spring 2022 and be open multiple days per week from 8 a.m. to noon.

  • Approved confirmation of Karey Cha as City Clerk effective Oct. 1, 2021. She has worked for the City of Clovis for six years and started as an intern.

The Scene

The Clovis City Council meeting took place on Sept. 20, 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. All of the council members were in council chambers. 

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)

Mouanoutoua led the council in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Clovis Fire Chief John Binaski was recognized for his selection as Fire Chief of the Year at the California Fire Chiefs Association annual conference. Binaski gave credit to the entire Clovis Fire Department and said that he was “just the face of it.” He thanked the council for their support and his wife, daughters and in-laws. He said no one from the Valley that’s ever won the award so it’s like “bringing it home.” 

From there, the meeting was open for public comments, but no one spoke in the chambers or online. They noted the receipt of a written public comment from Rachel Youdelman. 


  • Approved minutes from September 13 meeting. 

  • Approved closure of city administrative offices on Columbus Day for the years 2021 to 2023 for an in-service day for purposes of annual clean-up and catch-up on filing, file closures and preparation of records to be retained in storage. 

    • It was noted in the agenda that the city does not recognize Columbus Day as a city holiday, however some other governmental agencies close on that day. 

  • Received and filed the BOOT fourth quarter report for April to June 2021.

  • Approved the city’s classification and compensation plan by adding the City Surveyor classification, with a monthly salary range of $8,116 to $9,865. 

  • Approved renewing medical plan options for eligible retirees and restating the eligibility requirements for participation in the plan. Monthly premiums are paid entirely by the retirees. 

  • Approved final tract map for a Wilson Homes development at the northwest corner of Shepherd and Clovis Avenues. It is planned as a gated subdivision of 95 homes on 7.99 acres. 

  • Approved annexation of the tract located at the northwest corner of Shepherd and Clovis Avenues to the Landscape Maintenance District No. 1. 

  • Approved bid award for the Loma Vista Village Green offsite improvements to Avison Construction Inc. for approximately $1.3 million. 

  • Approved authorizing the City Manager to execute a First Amendment and Memorandum of First Amendment to License Agreement with Crown Castle to amend and extend their current cell tower license by ten years to 2043 at Well 30, located at 1124 N. Sunnyside Ave. 

    • Also extends the licensed area by 48 square feet with an option for an additional 168 square feet. 

    • Current annual license fee is approximately $22,000 per year. 

  • Approved waiving the formal bidding processing and entering into a contract with Golden Bell Products, Inc. for insect control in sanitary sewer manholes for $174,850. 

  • Approved agreement between City of Clovis and the Business Organization of Old Town (B.O.O.T.) for fiscal year 2021-2022. The City will pay B.O.O.T $60,000 ($15,000 per quarter) to continue marketing Old Town Clovis as a destination for shopping, dining and community events. 

    • Requested it be pulled from the consent calendar because the agreement was updated and wasn’t included in the agenda packet. 

    • Shawn Miller, City of Clovis Business Development Director, spoke about the agreement. 

    • Ashbeck asked if they should continue the item so they have time to read the agreement because she didn’t have time to. 

    • Ashbeck asked if this restored funding back to old levels and was told it would. 

    • Mouanoutoua asked about a table included in the agreement and asked if they could add events or if there were consequences if some don’t occur. Miller said there would be consequences if none of the events occurred. 

    • Flores asked if vendors paid a fee for events. Miller said that vendors do, but non-profits don’t. 

    • Flores asked if political organizations pay fees. Miller said B.O.O.T. does have an area set aside for free speech, but he’s “never seen anyone take advantage of that.”

    • New Executive Director of B.O.O.T. Heather was in council chambers. She said she “breathes Clovis” and talked about the property her family owned and their history in the city. “It’s an honor to be in this position and partner up with you guys,” she said. 

  • Approved a planned development permit (PDP) to allow deviations from the single-family residential zone district standards for an eight-lot, non-gated, single-family residential subdivision located in the southeast area of North Armstrong and Nees Avenues. 

    • Applicant is Gary McDonald Homes/Gleneagles Homes

    • Assistant Planner Emily Lane presented the item. 

    • The permit will allow the project to deviate from standards, including:

      •  Increased lot coverage from 40% to 55%

      • Decreased front setback from 20 feet to 10 feet

      • Decreased side setback from five feet to four feet on side opposite garage

      • Decreased minimum street side setback from 10 feet to five feet

      • Decreased minimum rear side setback from 20 feet to 15 feet

    • Public amenities noted were a trash can and dog waste station along Enterprise Canal Trail and an “enhanced entry” feature along East Nees Avenue. 

    • Lane noted a memo that was circulated to the council showing changes to attachment 3. 

    • Two letters from the public were received and included as attachments and one call was received with “general questions.” 

    • Bessinger asked about a letter that was concerned about having a two-story house behind them and was wondering what the plans for the homes were. He was told that it’s possible a two-story could go there with a maximum height of 35 feet. 

    • Ashbeck said that trash cans should not be considered public amenities, which they were listed as. 

    • Whalen asked about the “enhanced entry feature” and if Lane or city staff had seen it and was told they have not seen it. He was concerned that developers would see this and think that they could just propose amenities, such as trash cans and a dog station, and leave it at that. “We expect more when it comes to these types of public amenities,” Whalen said. 

    • Lorren Smith from Harbour & Associates was in council chambers. He said they weren’t asking for increased density, but were asking for greater flexibility. 

      • He said they could add different amenities and that they struggled to come up with enhanced amenities due to the location of the development. 

      • Whalen asked why they were going through the PDP process. Smith said it was because they don’t have the plans for the homes yet, so as an engineering firm they were trying to provide the greatest flexibility for their client. He said due to the cul-de-sac locations they can fit a little more square footage on the lots. 

      • Average size of lots will be 8,396 square feet 

    • Gary McDonald was in council chambers and said it’s been several years since he’s been before the city council. 

      • He said he is working on four developments in Clovis now and said the response has been “overwhelming.” 

      • McDonald said they will enhance the look of the entrance, including rock details. 

    • Franklin Steve, owns three acres to the east of the property, said he would love to have sidewalks built as proposed and the development next to their lot. “We are in support and looking forward to seeing how those homes are laid out,” Steve said. Ashbeck asked if he was related to “our friend H” and he said that was his dad. 

      • Bessinger asked about the sidewalk. Steve said there is no sidewalk in front of their property and they currently walk through their back gate from the field. 

    • Whalen said he does like in-fill development, but that it seems “premature” in that neighborhood. He said he believes the trail needs to continue along the Enterprise Trail and Spees wants to develop his three acres in the area. “It feels as though there may be an opportunity for something other than a cul-de-sac there,” Whalen said. “I’m kinda thinking that I’m not too excited for this project yet, but I am excited about the broader development in that area.” He said then they could move out of the PDP process and into something more traditional. 

    • Ashbeck thanked McDonald and said it’s not about his projects or development. But said she agrees with Whalen and thought it was too early. “I don’t think it’s quite ready for this action yet,” she said. She said that she wants to encourage the staff to look closely at amenities offered in exchange for reduced setbacks. 

    • Mouanoutoua asked if they built it without any deviations, they wouldn’t hear about it at the city council. He was told that’s correct because the planning commission would approve the lot map. 

      • He said he doesn’t see an issue with what’s being requested, but does agree with Ashbeck in regards to the amenities offered. 

      • “I think this is something where we need to start thinking outside the box,” Mouanoutoua said. 

      • He said if someone bought property in southwest where they couldn’t build parks, they may need to offer them something in exchange. 

    • Bessinger said he thought an amenity would be an asphalt sidewalk that connects to the Enterprise Trail and asked McDonald if they could do that. 

      • Whalen asked if they have the right of way and was told they don’t know if they do. Bessinger said it is part of the public easement, but city staff said they don’t know if they do. 

      • McDonald said he’s already spent $750,000 on the property and that he would be happy to participate in the process of building the sidewalk if that meets the requirements of the council. 

    • Flores said he’s “not a planner but he plays one up here on the dais.” He said it was “unreasonable” for the city council to burden the developer or the sellers of the property. 

    • Approved 3-2 Mouanoutoua, Bessinger and Flores voted yes and Whalen and Ashbeck voted no. 

  • Approve a sales tax participation agreement between the City of Clovis and Anlin, Industries, Inc. 

    • In 2017, the City of Clovis entered into a Sales Tax Participation agreement rebating back to Anlin 50% of the growth in sales tax beyond the 2016-17 fiscal year ($524,602) up to $500,000 over a ten-year period, whichever comes first, if Anlin purchases the adjacent Builders Concrete parcel and demolishes the structures on the site in an expansion effort.

    • In 2018, the City entered into a 10-year tax sharing agreement with Anlin to encourage expansion. 

    • Requested a two-year expansion. 

    • Mouanoutoua asked why the extension was needed now. 

    • Staff recommends approving the proposed amendment and accepting the five-year report. 

    • Whalen asked if any part of the agreement dealt with use of the property for city facilities. Staff told him that did happen, but it wasn’t part of the agreement and occurred through a separate contract. 

    • John Chaslin, CFO of Anlin, was in council chambers 

    • John Maloney, CEO of Anlin, 

  • Approved staffing a new Clovis Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Antifreeze, Batteries and Bulbs, Oil and Paint (ABOP) Drop-off Site located at 79 N. Sunnyside Ave.

    • Solid Waste Manager Ivette Rodriguez presented the item.

    • Part of the Fresno County Household Hazardous Waste program. 

    • The fiscal impact for FY 2021-22 is estimated at an additional $126,000. 

    • Complete by Spring 2022. 

    • Preparation includes meeting with the County Planning and Health Department to finalize equipment and site compliance checklist. 

    • County will fund purchase of containment through AB939 committee surcharge fund. 

    • Will provide free disposal and reduce illegal dumping and fires. 

    • One additional utility worker. 

    • Planned to be open multiple days per week from 8 a.m. to noon. 

    • Bessinger said he’s used this program twice at the Rodeo Grounds and he thinks this will be really helpful for residents to properly dispose of these materials.

    • Mouanoutoua asked about business partners and asked why big retailers aren’t participating in these programs. Rodriguez said they may choose not to participate if it creates more work for employees. 

      • He also asked about the building themselves and if they need to be more secure due to the toxic chemicals. Rodriguez said the City of Fresno Department of Public Works and the Health Department shared items they need to address, including hazardous waste lockers and liners on the driveway protecting any leakage from going into drains. 

      • Mouanoutoua then asked if this will now be included in reporting. Staff said that it would be. 

    • Flores said that the site wasn’t exclusive to Clovis and open to anyone in the County. Rodriguez said that it will be open to anyone and the Kerman facility will be moving so residents will have two options. 

  • Approved a report and recommendation to set Prop. 218 public hearing to increase street sweeping charges by $0.50 per month, as well as an up to 4% maximum annual increase in subsequent years. To offset the impact, staff is recommending a 1.5% reduction in Refuse rates, both starting July 1, 2022. 

    • Assistant Public Utilities Director Glenn Eastes presented the item. 

    • Initial charge of $1.25 per month in 1996. 

    • Have not increased since 2003

    • Increase of $0.50 from $2.25 to $2.75 per month July 1, 2022 and annual increase July 1 beginning 2023

    • Increase revenue by $260k

    • Will send out notices to ratepayers 45 days prior to public hearing on Nov. 15, 2021

    • Whalen asked if the reduction is included as a condition of the passage. Eastes said they would know by Nov. 15, 2021 if it passes and could make their vote on the ordinance on Jan. 6, 2022. 

    • Whalen asked how much is it actually saving. Eastes said that residential customers will only see about a $0.11 cent increase with the offset and commercial customers would see a bigger change. 

    • Bessinger said that street sweeping plays a big role in reducing blight and cars that sit unused on the side of the street. 

    • Flores agreed that it reduced blight. He asked if it would be a one-time notice and Eastes confirmed that it would be a one-time mailed notice. 

  • Discussed the League of California Cities’ Annual Resolutions and Proposed Bylaws Amendments set for consideration at the annual conference on Sept. 22 to 24, 2021. 

    • City Manager Luke Serpa presented the item. 

    • Resolution No. 1 calls for a “fair and equitable” distribution of the Bradley Burns 1% local sales tax from in-state online purchases, based on data where products are shipped to and that takes into consideration the impacts that fulfillment centers have on host cities. 

    • Resolution No. 2 urges the Governor and the Legislature to provide adequate regulatory authority and necessary funding to assist cities with railroad right-of-way areas to address illegal dumping, graffiti and homeless encampments along the rail lines. 

    • Bylaw amendments:

      • Adjust composition of the board to add director seats for each of five diversity caucuses and transitioning members of Nation League of Cities Board to one non-voting advisor to Cal Cities Board.

      • Recognize diversity caucasus in bylaws to reflect the full contribution they make to Cal Cities mission and vision.

      • Update League of California Cities Moniker to Cal Cities. 

      • Various minor technical corrections.

    • Whalen said the five additional seats will be “leftist in nature.”

    • Bessinger said that he agrees with Whalen and adding five more voting delegates won’t help things. 

    • Mouanoutoua said it is hard to find consensus as it is and adding five more votes won’t help that. He said that he would vote yes to what is proposed, but he had voted no when they added the bylaws. 

    • Flores said “it will dilute the work of others” to add five director seats. But said he agrees with the resolutions. 

    • Ashbeck said if there is a possibility to ask for funding for mental health assistance for railroad suicides in the future. 

  • Approved confirmation of City Manager’s appointment of Karey Cha as City Clerk effective Oct. 1, 2021. 

    • She has worked for the City of Clovis for six years. Her sister, Lily Cha, sent her an email that the City was looking for an intern. “I am excited to continue a career in local government,” she said. 

Flores opened the meeting for comments by City Manager Luke Serpa. Serpa gave an update on COVID cases. He shared a graph of confirmed cases in Fresno County, which he said was heading in the right direction with a downward trend. 

Flores then opened the meeting for council comments:

  • Mouanoutoua said Haussler joined him for committee meetings and thanked him and Serpa for their help. 

  • Ashbeck said all the housing bills that the Governor has signed recently are a “concern” and that it would be helpful to have a workshop in a public setting to discuss. 

  • Bessinger said he participated in an air board meeting last Thursday and they were given $2 million to fix cars that failed smog or assist in buying. 

  • Flores said that getting the disease and recovering from it works “27% better than the vaccines” and that public health needs to “get with it,” but that the vaccine is important. 

The meeting adjourned at 8:38 p.m. The next meetings will be Oct. 4, 11 (joint meeting with Clovis Unified School District) and 18 and Nov. 1, 8 and 15. 

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