“The District,” a new Granville housing complex in Fresno’s Tower District, benefited from the infill impact fee waiver program. Credit: Melissa Montalvo / Fresno Bee/Fresnoland

What’s at stake?

Hardie, like some planning commissioners, has had to recuse himself over conflicts of interest, which at times, delayed progress because not enough people were present to vote.

The Fresno City Council approved the reappointments of two members to the Fresno Planning Commission after affordable housing developer, Brad Hardie’s name was removed from the reappointment list.

The reappointment of Peter Vang for a third term and Monica Diaz for a second term was approved unanimously during the consent agenda on Thursday.

The Planning Commission is an advisory board appointed by Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer and approved by the Fresno City Council. The commission recommends actions related to rezoning, plan amendments and permitting to the city council.

In the past, Councilmember Miguel Arias criticized the selection process of the Planning Commission appointees, saying they often have “significant conflicts of interest.” 

Several planning commissioners, including Hardie, have had to recuse themselves over conflicts of interest in past years, which at times, delayed progress on making recommendations because not enough people were present to vote.

Hardie said the decision to not extend his stay on the planning commission was his own as he wanted to spend more time with family. He will remain in the role until a replacement is appointed and approved.  

“It’s been great,” Hardie said of his four-year service. “I’ve learned a lot, and it’s been a great body to work with.” 

Hardie, who most recently had to recuse himself from a public hearing  to consider the adoption of the West Area Neighborhoods Specific Plan and final environmental impact report on July 20, said he was not leaving the board due to conflicts of interest. 

“I chose to,” he said, adding that he felt it was time to retire from the board. 

Fresno’s director of communications, Sontaya Rose, confirmed via email Friday that Hardie will “serve in an expired term” until someone is appointed to replace him. She referred Fresnoland to Hardie for any further comments. 

Although Hardie is stepping away from the advisory role, he is an active member of housing and development in Fresno. He is the president of Regency Property Management and the co-founder of RH Community Builders and Elevate Community Services Inc. 

RH Community Builders, an affordable housing development firm, was contracted to operate Fresno County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. A nonprofit offshoot of the company, Elevate Services Inc., also operates multiple motel converted shelters owned by the city of Fresno through Homekey and American Rescue Plan Act funds. 

Meanwhile, Regency Property Management manages more than 6,350 rental units in Fresno County, according to the RH Community Builder’s website. 

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Cassandra is a housing and engagement reporter with Fresnoland.