Documenter: Dani Huerta

What you need to know

  • An appeal for a special use permit regarding the Finatean’s goats was denied. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board found that no further tests were needed. Appellant Patricia Moore requested the Board to run more tests.

  • Representatives from Great Wolf Lodge gave a presentation about their plans for the upcoming waterslide resort. It will create 3,000 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs. Other planned nearby constructions are cluster regional retail, hotel/offices, and large format retail. Council Member Greg Collins was against this and expressed his concerns about urban development in Visalia.

  • The Fire Department was approved to submit a grant application in the amount of approximately $3,067,246 which will allow them to hire twelve fire apparatus engineers, increase 2-0 staffing to ten stations, and increase the number of firefighters if the grant is awarded.

Board of Supervisors

  • Larry Micari, District One

  • Pete Vander Poel III, District Two

  • Amy Shuklian, District Three

  • Eddie Valero – Chairman, District Four

  • Dennis Townsend – Vice Chair, District Five

  • Jason T. Britt, County Administrative Officer

  • Jennifer M. Flores, County Council

  • Melinda Benton, Chief Clerk

The Scene

The Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting was held simultaneously both in-person and streamed via YouTube and Zoom at 9 a.m. on February 1, 2022. It began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence. 


  • Board of Supervisors matters

    • Supervisor Townsend

      • Last week he had an interview with Kent Hopper for Hopper in the Morning, scheduled five town halls for the year, a zoom meeting with Portville Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee, and a Sierra View Foundation Meeting, 

      • Upcoming is an interviews for Board rep a position, quarterly call with HHSA director, Jackass Mail Run planning, Eastern Tule GSA, Portville Chili Cookoff and Cow Patty Bingo, and the International AG Show

    • Supervisor Micari

      • Last week he attended the GKGSA meeting, a meeting with Exeter city manager, and a funeral for a county employee.

      • Upcoming is the Board rep interviews, Ruby awards dinner, Ivan meeting, and the AG Expo opening ceremony

    • Supervisor Shuklian

      • Last week she attended the Visalia property owners association meeting, Tulare County Economic Development Corporation meeting, San Joaquin Joint Powers Associationmeeting, and a meeting with Tim Curley of Valley Children’s Hospital.

      • Upcoming is the Board rep interviews and the Ruby awards

    • Supervisor Vander Poel

      • Upcoming is the widening of Highway 99 meeting, the continuation of Richard Torrez mural unveiling and the World AG Expo

    • Supervisor Valero

      • Last week he visited Sierra View Hospital for the Porterville vaccine roundup, met with Tim Curley, and attended Delve Colony town hall.

      • Upcoming is Dinuba town hall, a Capital Public Radio interview, Latino Caucus of California County, 9/11 memorial planning committee meeting, and a trip to Tehachapi to meet with the Wells Fellows Program.

      • Took a moment to honor Stockton Fire Department’s Fire Captain Max Fortuna who was killed on Monday

  • Consent calendar

    • Items 7 and 21 were pulled

    • The remainder of the consent calendar was approved

    • Item 7 Reaffirm the findings of Resolution No. 2021-0990 that would allow the Board of Supervisors and its subcommittees to hold meetings remotely.

      • Pamela Silva, a member of the public, asked the Board to stop taking money in an emergency when it doesn’t fit the emergency. She claims the FDA is corrupt and Satanic. She said “The only emergency is one of failed mandates”. She ended her comments urging the board to do something and said “We’re coming after you if you don’t”.

      • Supervisor Shuklian says they should ask that question to the families of the 1,238 deaths in Tulare and that she takes Vitamin D daily, referring to Silva’s comments about Vitamin D during Public Comment

      • Item 7 approved

    • Item 21 Approve General Plan Initiation to authorize the applicant, Chase Morgan, to file an application for a General Plan Amendment to change the Land Use Designation on approximately 8.46-acres from “Heavy Industrial” to “Service Commercial” and change the Land Use Designation on approximately 5.4-acres from “Low-Medium Density” to “Service Commercial.” The project is located within the Visalia Urban Development Boundary.

      • Received letter from city of Visalia stating there is other commercial land in the corners, including Cameron Creek as physical restraint. 

      • PRC letter suggests the MOU and city policy is to not put industrial here. This is for commercial initiation. The project is inconsistent with residential pre-zoning. The city is supposed to work with the county but they did not do that. County has land use authority. The letter also says the project is inconsistent with the city’s plan. MOU says these properties shall not be considered. 

      • The project fits the county land use planning. The project is subject to the county’s discretion. If an adjacent city does not consent annex property it is concluded they don’t consent and the project may be processed. The county may work with the city to limit an amendment.

      • This is an opportunity for the applicant to proceed. They are not approving the project today, just allowing it to proceed

      • Supervisor Shukilan asked for it to be pulled because of the letter from Visalia. She hopes to always want to work with the cities. 

      • Item 21 approved

  • Request from the Resource Management Agency to deny the appeal for Special Use Permit based on staff findings and affirm the Planning Commission’s approval to allow increased animal densities

    • RMA Assistant Director Aaron Bock explained the Planning Commission’s decision

      • Staff met with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. The project did not meet the definition of confined animal facility. It is not subject to setback requirements or be required to submit “reports of waste discharge”. A condition is added to ensure that any building complies with the 2,500 square foot Class 3 exemption.

    • Pavel Finatean, owner of the property, said Bock did a good job explaining the facts. Laura Finatean said she emailed the Board about erosion from and easement, not from the goats.

    • Appellant Patricia Moore said she thought the water board would continue to look into it and that the study was not done by the water board. She said the Finatean’s sound like they want to continue to confine the goats. She wants the Board to consider continuing studies recommended by the regional water board. She is concerned that increasing to 400 animals would bring a lot more flies and odors. SHe spoke of a photo that was taken of the goat’s pen and that no grass has come up because the goats have been eating it. She is concerned about runoff and the neighbor’s water sources. Hopes to return this to the water board

      • Supervisor Shuklian asked Moore about the picture and about grazing vs confinement in the picture. Moore said the confinement is about one acre.

      • Supervisor Micari asked Bock if the Water Board looked everything over. Bock said a waste discharge report was not needed because a confined area is not a place they can graze. The Water Board did not ask to get water samples and is satisfied. No more studies are required.

    • Laura Finatean said the area in the picture is about 2.5 acres. Project development  has been a long process and they are waiting for the approval of the project. They have 30 adult goats and want up to 350 adult goats.

    • Appeal was denied

  • Request from the RMA to deny the appeal for Special Use Permit based on staff findings and affirm the Planning Commission’s approval to allow medical employee housing

    • Aaron Bock explained the appeal made by Seng Saephan/N. David Williams.

      • Request to construct 7 rental units on 4.89 acres for use by medical staff.

      • Objections

        • 500 foot driveway causes light pollution and traffic. A new well would compromise nearby wells, septic, and leach line placement.

      • Addressing concerns

        • Initially proposed twelve units, staff suggested seven

        • Conditions for further monitoring for medical purposes through annual survey

        • Provides adequate room for two septic systems. Appellant proposes move the septic further south

        • Household uses .538 acre feet of water or use 2.51 acre feet per year

          • If water comes from and existing well then it will be classified as a State Small Water System

          • If a new well drilled the above requirements do not apply 

        • Would generate about 50 trips per day and is considered a minor increase

      • Recommend denial of the appeal and affirm the denial of the special use permit

    • Supervisor Micari asked if they will become rentals after the pandemic. Bock said the units will have to go back through the process of the use permit.

    • Supervisor Shuklian asked if someone wanted to build a house that size would it be allowed. Bock said yes

    • Supervisor Micari asked about standard household size and whether they will have to pay penalties for a large acre size. Bock said they will use total 2.51 annually, individual .538 and it wouldn’t be subject to the same AG use requirements. Shuklian said it should be 3.76 annually.

    • Supervisor Townsend asked if this was proposed without COVID, would it be denied. Bock said they would strongly suggest they do not proceed. It could potentially be used for families as well. 

    • Appellant N. David Williams architect representing Seng Saephan

      • The project is only for medical staff and family. They are trying to keep it small so it does not impact traffic or lighting. 

      • Shuklian asked if they have a contract with Kaweah. Williams said they have contracts to those who come but none with Saephan.

      • Supervisor Valero asked if there are plans for future amenities. Bock said it could take 20 years to see the area fully developed.

    • Public comment

      • Shane Garrison, who lives east of Saephan, is against the project. He  contacted Kaweah Delta about the letter to Saephan. The office did not want to make any comment or go against the planning commission. The Planning Commission made Saephan do a tentative denial and then officially denial. He says this is not the right place for this project.

      • Bill Donald, Saephan’s neighbor, wants the Board to deny the appeal. This proposal has been amended to include family and needs of the community, which to him this means anybody. He is concerned about the septic systems and nearby agriculture and believes this is not the place for this project.

    • Supervisor Shuklian asked if 4.89 is the whole acreage including the residence. Bock said yes. She also asked if the appellant would have to request a zone change to make this happen. Bock said it would require a zone change or scale it back to three units for family members.

    • Appeal denied and affirm planning committee findings

  • Request from the RMA to adopt the Environmental Impact Report and Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Plan prepared for the Cutler/Orosi Community Plan 2021 Adopt General Plan Amendment of the Tulare County General Plan to establish a Community Plan for Cutler/Orosi and to Part I General Plan Amendment to the Planning Framework, Land Use, Environmental Resources Management (Open Space), Transportation and Circulation Elements, consistent with Planning Commission Recommendation Resolution No. 9920. Introduce an ordinance amending the Tulare County Zoning Ordinance, to establish a Mixed-Use Combining Zone consistent with Planning Commission Recommendation Resolution to allow additional By-Right Uses consistent with Planning Commission Recommendation Resolution, to change the existing zoning districts for the Cutler/Orosi Community Plan 2021 Update

    • RMA Assistant Director Aaron Bock

      • Last updated in 1988

      • No significant environmental impacts, technical memoranda to air quality energy and greenhouse gas

      • Proposed urban development boundary 3,154 acres

      • The General Plan Amendment includes land use designations, circulation functional classification, and modification to urban expansion areas.

      • Goals of rezoning is to create mixed use overlay zone, reduce permit requirements, rezone parcels (community plan rezoning)

    • Approved

  • Request from the RMA to approve addenda related to the Environmental Impact Report State Clearinghouse No. 2015081056. Approve amendment No. 1 of the Sequoia Gateway Commerce and Business Park Specific Plan. Introduce and adopt the Zoning Ordinance Amendment, a “Text” Change to the Zoning Ordinance of Tulare County. Conditionally approve Amendment to Master Special Use Permit 18-093(A). Conditionally approve Tentative Parcel Map, totaling up to 18 additional parcels. Direct the RMA’s Environmental Assessment Officer to revise the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program to reflect the modifications to mitigation measures made in the Resolution approving the modification to Master Use Permit “18-093(A)” and file a Notice of Determination with the Clerk-Recorder.

    • RMA Aaron Bock

      • Phase 1 approved December 4, 2018

      • Water & sewer more than approved but within Calwater and Visalia’s wastewater plans. Air quality studies reduced mitigation measures except ROG. Two additional traffic studies show less than  projected and consistent with existing mitigation.

      • Findings allow for Phase 2 to move forward prior to 2024

    • The owner of the property spoke of the amendment details

      • Phase 1: Valley Children’s Medical Group, Kaweah Delta Medical Group, two gas stations, three restaurants, and two remaining parcels of the original twelve. 

      • Tulare County Visitor Center

      • Phase 2 addresses 88 acres. Cluster regional retail, hotel/offices, large format retail, destination hotel

        • Regional retail acres has decreased

        • Destination hotel has increased?, smaller hotel has decreased

        • Increase in water consumption and waste water

      • Less traffic, more water usage, less groundwater basin impact, more wastewater, revised height regulations of destination hotel (decreased), fiscal impact improved

    • Representatives from Great Wolf Lodge gave a presentation 

      • Largest owner and operator of indoor water sector, currently 19 lodges open

      • Indoor waterpark, family friendly suites, family entertainment center, eateries, etc.

      • Targets families with kids under twelve

      • They showed pictures from existing water parks

      • Creates 3,000 construction jobs and 700 permanent jobs

    • Supervisor Valero said he is concerned about meeting space during a conference and asked what the capacity is. The representative from Great Wolf Lodge said it could be 250 or even 300 people. It has moveable walls and dn outdoor area connected to the meeting space. 

    • Supervisor Shuklian asked if the conference center will be competing with other conference centers. They said it will not. 

    • Supervisor Vander Poel asked if the permanent jobs are full time or part time. They said about 35% are full time, the rest are part time. 

    • Supervisor Valero asked if they would duplicate retail. The retail and restaurants are focused on the brand.

    • Public Comment 

      • Council member Collins spoke on behalf of himself as a council member. Has made documents that have stayed in place for 45 years. He expressed concerns about urban development, being under the flight path, and sewers.

    • Approved

  • Request from the Library Department to approve the Tulare County Library Advisory Board By-Laws. Appoint a member of the Board of Supervisors to serve as a non-voting member on the Library Advisory Board for a term ending December 2022.

    • By-Laws were approved and Supervisor Valero was appointed to serve as a non-voting member on the Library Advisory Board with Supervisor Shuklian as the alternate.

  • Request from the Fire Department to authorize the submission of a grant application for the Fiscal Year 2021 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grant to hire twelve Fire Apparatus Engineers, in the amount of approximately $3,067,246. Authorize the Fire Chief to sign and electronically submit the grant application.

    • Hire twelve fire apparatus engineers, increase 2-0 staffing to ten stations, and increase the number of firefighters.

    • Does not apply to overtime, PPE, uniforms, uniform allowance, educational stipends, and other first time start-up costs.

    • Department would cover the remaining cost in the amount of $400,960. After the grant period, three years, the department would be responsible for the rest of the costs.

    • Approved

  • There were no Board Matter Requests

Public Comment

  • Pamela Silva spoke about a report from Pfizer, claims vaccines cause injury, and that the current vaccines are ineffective against Omicron. She requested the health department look into vaccine alternatives and stressed the importance of Vitamin D.

  • Teagan Hackobian defined a few words in the Pledge of Allegiance and urged the Board to make decisions according to the pledge of allegiance. She says society lacks honesty these days and she is not anti-vax. She said “This is more than about health. This is a battle against spiritual things”. 

The meeting adjourned to a closed session. The meeting next week on February 8th, 2022 will begin at 4 p.m.

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

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