Documenter: Heather Halsey Martinez

Here’s what you need to know

  • The Fresno Planning Commission approved an agreement with Fagundes Bros. Dairy for 599 single-family lots and a two-acre park in the Oasis Master Plan Area in southwest Fresno. 

  • The commissioners approved an amendment to the Fresno Municipal Code allowing existing establishments that meet certain criteria to relocate and transfer their existing license to sell alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption. 

  • Delayed to Nov. 3, a decision on a tract map for a development near Grantland Avenue between West Ashlan and Gettysburg Avenues. 

  • Assistant City Attorney Raj Singh Badhesha led a workshop to discuss the role of the Planning Commission and applicable open meeting laws, including the Brown Act. 

The meeting (in full)

The Scene

The Fresno Planning Commission meeting took place on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Some of the commissioners met in the council chambers, while others joined via Zoom. The agenda states that public comments can still be submitted electronically or via Zoom or call in. Meetings also continue to be viewable on CMAC and the City of Fresno’s YouTube channel.

Names of officials:

Kathy Bray, Chairperson (also owner of Denham Resources)

Brad Hardie, Vice Chair (also President of Regency Property Management)

David Criner, Commissioner (also pastor at Saint Rest Baptist Church)

Peter Vang, Commissioner (also Associate at Thiesen Dueker Financial Consulting Group)

Monica Diaz, Commissioner

Haley Wagner, Commissioner (also insurance agent for the Arthur J. Gallagher brokerage)

Robert Fuentes, Commissioner (also a staff attorney for the U.S. District Court in Fresno)

Bray, Fuentes and Diaz were in chambers. Hardie, Criner, Vang and Wagner were present via Zoom or phone. 

Director of Planning & Development Jennifer Clark was also in council chambers. Assistant City Attorney Raj Singh Badhesha and Rina Gonzales were on Zoom as well. 


  • Approved unanimously a proposed development agreement between the City of Fresno and Fagundes Bros. Dairy, relating to the development of the Oasis Master Plan Area. The agreement includes four tract maps that consist of 599 single-family residential lots & one two-acre park, situated on the east and west side of South Valentine Ave., north of West Madison Ave. 

    • Rob Holt with the Planning & Development Department presented the item.

    • Tract Map 5463 will incorporate an approximately two acre neighborhood park that will include a shaded play structure, basketball court and dog park. 

    • City Council approved initial tracts in 2006, amended the maps on Sept. 18, 2020, which realigned the street stubs to connect to additional tracts. 

      • Original approvals included two pocket parks on each side of the development.

    • Current agreement:

      • 10-year term, which includes two optional two-year extensions.

      • Provides for payment of contemporary impact fees; including payment of water capacity fee for all maps. 

      • Provides for the dedication and improvement of one minimum two-acre neighborhood park (vs. two smaller pocket parks) and provides for associated park fee credits. 

    • Staff did receive an email in opposition to a dairy farm, which Holt attributed to confusion with the Fagundes Bros. Dairy involvement. 

    • Fuentes asked what the purpose of the development agreement is. 

      • Planning Manager Will Tackett was in council chambers and said it was to provide a 10-year term for the development, although they expect it to be completed much quicker. “It’s a mechanism to provide assurity over a longer period of time,” he said. 

    • Wagner asked why the park was split from two to one park. 

      • Holt said it was because maintenance is easier and the Parks Department recommends that it is better to provide one larger park versus two smaller pocket parks. 

    • Wagner then asked about the projected growth of that area over the next 10 years. 

      • Tackett said the City of Fresno has not received any additional applications for development in that area. 

      • She then asked about commercial development in the area. To which, Tackett said they have no current applications for development. 

    • A representative from Precision Civil Engineering spoke on behalf of the applicant. 

      • Wagner asked when the first phase of housing will be available. A representative from Precision Civil Engineering said they are working with a builder now and anticipate it could be nine months. 

      • Fuentes asked when the full project could be completed. The representative said it is market-driven and right now with the “hot” housing market it could be a few years. 

      • Wagner asked about the price range of homes and was told they would start in the high-$200,000s. 

    • Ivanka Saunders with Leadership Council for Justice and Accountability asked the applicant to elaborate on what they consider affordable in this market and if low-income assistance will be available like down payment assistance for some percentage of the homes to support first-time homebuyers from West Fresno. 

      • “The city should hold developers accountable to closing the gap of homeownership by uplifting and coordinating the available programs like CBDG’s home funding, ARPA funding, credit union credit repair programs to work in tandem with the new builds,” Saunders said. 

      • “The City of Fresno needs to take the stance that if you want to build in our city, you don’t get to pick and choose who you serve, you as a developer must stand with the City of Fresno to uplift the whole city, not just build for newly transplanted or work from home residents,” she said. 

      • “The original residents of West Fresno deserve the opportunity to be homeowners and it can happen if the City and developers try to be creative and inclusive of the available funding that can assist residents,” she said. 

      • The applicant said they wouldn’t be comfortable with any “set asides,” but if the city wanted to provide down-payment assistance they would be amenable to that. 

  • Continued to Nov. 3 a tentative tract map and related environmental assessment for property located to the west of North Grantland Ave. between West Ashlan and West Gettysburg Avenues.  

  • Approved unanimously an amendment to the Fresno Municipal Code and environmental findings allowing existing establishments to relocate and transfer their existing license to sell alcoholic beverages for off-site consumption that meet some criteria. 

    • Presented by Phillip Siegrist. 

    • On June 10, the Fresno City Council initiated a resolution to amend the citywide development code, otherwise known as the Responsible Neighborhood Market Act (RNMA). 

      • RNMA applies to any proposed new establishment or any existing establishment requesting to modify license, reinstate after expiration, extend hours of alcohol sales, expand floor area of alcohol or relocate and transfer an existing alcohol license. 

      • The proposed amendment provides flexibility for existing off-sale establishments seeking to relocate by allowing an exception from the location restrictions. 

      • Under the amendment, qualifying existing establishments will be permitted to relocate and transfer their existing off-sale license to a new location and would not be subject to applicable location restrictions for new establishments or the cancel and transfer requirements. 

      • The amendment would apply to establishments that relocate:

        • To a new location across the street and within a ¼ mile radius of the current location.

        • Within the same council district.

        • Within the same census tract. 

        • Not within 500 feet of  a nursery school, preschool, a public or private state-license or accredited school or daycare facility. 

        • Not in an area of high crime. 

      • A public notice about the meeting was published in October 2021. 

      • Fuentes asked about the city council passing a resolution. 

        • Siegrist said it was an initiation from the city council and did not come from the planning department. 

      • Wagner asked if this included any restaurants, but Siegrist said it was strictly retail establishments selling for off-site consumption. 

Assistant City Attorney Raj Singh Badhesha led a workshop to discuss the role of the Planning Commission and applicable open meeting laws, including the Brown Act. 

  • He said some rules have been amended due to Covid, including the hybrid virtual and in-person meeting. 

  • He said AB 992 prohibits communications on “internet-based social media platforms” regarding matters within the body’s jurisdiction. 

    • He said they can’t directly respond to posts or shares by other members, or react using emoticons. 

    • They can answer questions, provide information and solicit information from the public. 

    • “Just keep your opinion out of it,” he said. 

  • Wagner asked if they have questions on their packets who is the first person they should reach out to. Singh Badhesha said the Planning Secretary is a good first point of contact who can direct them further. 

  • Clark said they are going to do “refreshers” like this on different topics. She also addressed the public to tell them that the council chambers are now open to the public at 50% capacity and masks are required. 

Bray then opened the meeting for unscheduled comments:

  • Robert Mitchell Jr. was on Zoom. He said that he sent some questions about the development in southwest Fresno, but had some technical difficulties. He said he grew up in the area and that he would like to see a commitment for resources around the housing developments, referring to retail and commercial establishments. “I would hope the commission connects with the developers with a commitment for them to create a community, a sustainable community, not just build some homes,” he said. 

The meeting adjourned at 7:12 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 3 and they usually occur on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.

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