Documenter: Heather Halsey Martinez

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Clovis Planning Commission approved a rezone to medium density residential and a tract map for a DeYoung Properties 18-lot subdivision on approximately 3.48 acres located off Shaw Avenue between Leonard and Agua Dulce Avenues.

  • The commission also approved 3-1 (Cunningham voted no) amendments to the Clovis Development Code that align with recent state laws. The changes relate to housing development project standards and procedures, density bonus provisions, accessory dwelling units and review procedures.

  • The commission discussed the recently passed, SB 9 and SB 10, which will require additional amendments to the Development Code. The new state laws mandate the allowance of additional housing units on residential lots.

The meeting (in full)

The Scene

The Clovis Planning Commission meeting took place on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. The Planning Commission consists of five Clovis residents appointed by the mayor and approved by the City Council. They meet monthly to make decisions and recommendations on city planning issues and review proposals for compliance with the General Plan, in order to make recommendations to the City Council. 

Commission Members:

Paul Hinkle, Chair (also real estate agent with Kellner Properties)

Mike Cunningham, Chair Pro Tem

Alma Antuna

Brandon Bedsted (also Director of IT & Data Services, Community Medical Centers)

Amy Hatcher

The meeting was made available via Webex and YouTube Live. The agenda states that Webex participation continues to be available. Antuna was absent, all other commissioners were in council chambers. 

The meeting opened quickly with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Cunningham.

It was then opened for comments by the commissioners or secretary. 

Commission Secretary Dave Merchen said that he distributed the calendar for the upcoming calendar year. He said they also made a change to the Planning Commission agenda format to more closely mirror the Clovis City Council format. 

Cunningham then opened the meeting for public comment and no comments were made online or in council chambers. 


  • Approved a rezone to medium density residential and tract map for DeYoung Properties to develop an 18-lot subdivision on approximately  3.48 acres located between Leonard and Agua Dulce Avenues. 

    • Item was presented by Associate Planner Lily Cha. 

    • The rezone allows for reduced parcel size, setbacks and lot coverage. 

    • In the Loma Vista plan area. 

    • Currently an undeveloped area. 

    • Minimum lot size is 5,516 square feet, maximum lot size is 9,140 square feet, average lot size is 6,860 square feet. 

    • Accessible by Gettysburg and Leonard Avenues.

    • Cunningham asked about the access points from the existing subdivision. Cha said that it is accessible through the existing subdivision, which is not gated. 

    • Hinkle asked if it was time for them to address a paved side yard and Cha said it is and was addressed.

      • He then asked about how they are going to direct people walking along the Dog Creek Trail from crossing at Shaw Avenue. Cha said they are working on realigning the trail to the Shaw and Leonard Avenue intersection. 

      • Hinkle then asked about the canal and Cha said Lennar could fill it because it is unused and come back to develop the lots. 

    • Brandon DeYoung of DeYoung Properties was in council chambers. He said it is a straightforward development because of the constraints of the specific parcel. 

      • He said it matches the look and feel of the surrounding neighborhood. 

    • Approved unanimously. 

  • Approved amendments to the Clovis Development Code that will bring the code in compliance with state laws. The changes relate to housing development project standards and procedures, density bonus provisions, accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and review procedures.

    • Item was presented by Merchen.

    • Changes are driven by new and amended laws enacted at the state level, most were formally approved on Oct. 9, 2019, including the Housing Crisis Act. 

    • Compliance with state laws is not achievable without ordinance adjustments. 

    • In Dec. 2019, the City Council adopted an urgency ordinance addressing housing items currently under consideration, which will expire on Dec. 14, 2021. 

    • David Wolfe, former Clovis city attorney, was in council chambers to answer questions. 

    • Density Bonus-existing code provides “extra density” and other incentives for affordable housing projects. 

    • Accessory Dwelling Units-the existing code section will be completely replaced to reflect new state laws. 

      • Changes make it easier to construct ADUs or JADUs. 

      • 800 square foot ADU with 16 foot max height and 4 foot side and rear setbacks is always allowed. 

      • No replacement parking requirements can be required if garages/carports are converted for ADU/JADU use. 

      • Merchen said the current interest and quantity of ADUs is about one or two per month. 

      • “There is growing interest in the community…but at this point they haven’t resulted in a large volume,” Merchen said. 

    • Application and Procedures-The state has defined that a list of materials can be requested by the City and if they are submitted with fees then the development standards are locked in. 

      • Preliminary application 

    • Objective Standards for Housing Projects-new chapter 9.77 added.

      • Merchen said they have had one application for this in the last couple years. 

      • Ministerial process for housing development projects meeting certain criteria is added. 

        • Merchen said a neighbor would not be able to appeal a ministerial process. 

      • Provisions to implement objective design criteria are incorporated. 

      • For applicable multi-family projects, limits appeals to fact-based appeals by applicants. 

    • Two new state requirements due to SB 9 and SB 10 will require additional amendments: 

      • Two new/additional housing units allowed on single family lots.

      • “Urban lot splits” allowing single family lots to be split into two separate lots of at least 1,200 square feet. 

    • Merchen said amendments will permanently incorporate provisions of urgency ordinance previously adopted. 

    • Bedsted asked about the density bonus. Merchen said the projects could qualify with as little as 10% affordable units and the incentive would be based on that percentage. 

    • Hinkle asked if there were restrictions on the density bonus properties. He said he saw that properties could not be rented and must be owner-occupied. 

      • Merchen said Butterfly Gardens is the only project that he’s aware of that has applied for and received a density bonus. 

      • Wolfe said the city will require an agreement to memorialize and enforce affordability. 

    • Hinkle asked if developments can exceed three stories. He was told not for single-family homes, but other units may be able to go higher. 

    • Hinkle said that they have been doing “cottage homes” and asked how they compare to ADUs. Merchen said that they are a little bit different because they provide the plans. “One way to think of it is, all cottage homes are ADUs, but not all ADUs are cottage homes,” Merchen said. 

      • He asked if they could be sold. And was told according to SB 10 they may be able to. 

      • Hinkle said that if it is a historical site, they can tear it down and was told that they aren’t sure about that. 

      • “What we’re looking at tonight will have to be altered some because of SB 9 and SB 10,” Hinkle said. 

        • To which, Wolfe said they will have to examine lot splits and multiple units. 

        • He said lot splits can only be done when properties are fully owned and not mortgaged. 

        • “It’s not going to open the doors to a Pandora of four-plexes,” Wolfe said. To which, Hinkle replied, “it’s getting close.” 

        • “That will be next year,” Wolfe said. 

    • Merchen said that SB 9 deals with lot splits and SB 10 allows, but does not require, local agencies to allow ten units on an existing residential lot. “So SB 10 sounds permissive, but not mandatory,” he said. 

    • Cunningham said he assumes this is a state law so it’s binding on the city. Wolfe aid yes and that it’s very important that they have their own ordinance on this, otherwise the city won’t have any ordinance in place. 

    • Hinkle asked about the Junior ADUs and was told it can go up to 150 square feet and does require sanitation facilities be included. 

    • “I’m vehemently opposed to the state shoving this down our necks and if I thought it would make a difference, I would be an adamant no,” Cunningham said. 

    • Cunningham voted no, all other commissioners voted yes. 

Merchen said Ricky Caperton is transitioning to Deputy City Planner and an employee named Maria will be leaving the City of Clovis. 

The meeting adjourned at 6:48 p.m. Future Planning Commission meetings are scheduled for Oct. 28 and Nov. 18, 2021.

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