Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Clovis Planning Commission met on August 25, 2022 to hear proposals on the revisions of two conditional use permits (CUP), which are required by the city for particular uses of land or types of business present in certain zone districts.
  • Regarding the first item: the commission voted to allow for the modification of a CUP on a hotel project on 570 N. Clovis Avenue that would, among other aspects, expand its height restrictions and policies limiting the noise/music produced by the building’s “fine-dining rooftop restaurant”.
  • On the second, the commission voted to extend suspension of the Athletic Performance project on 340 Clovis Avenue, following a contentious discussion between principle and bureaucratic obstacles. As this meeting marked the last in a series of discussions on the applicant’s missed deadlines, the commission essentially faced a decision on whether or not to give the client a final chance to meet the conditions of the CUP. After hearing extensive support from the community and intentions from the applicant, the commission voted to extend the suspension a final time for a final deadline of Oct. 27. Should the client make the necessary improvements by or before this deadline, they will regain conditional use of the land; if not, the board affirmed it will vote to revoke the permit.

Follow-up Questions:

  • Should Athletic Performance face obstacles in their plans to meet permit conditions by the Oct. 27 deadline, will the commission truly follow through on its intent to revoke their permit — despite the clear public opposition to this?
  • What can the discourse on item #2, both on the side of the public and amongst the  commission, tell us about the link between inaccessible knowledge of city planning procedures and political discourse?

The Scene:

The meeting began at 6:01 p.m. on Thursday August 25, 2022, at the council chambers at 1033 Fifth Street, Clovis, CA 93612; participants could also join via live stream at the council’s website. Following the flag salute and roll call, the commission motioned to proceed with all items on today’s agenda.


According to their website: The Planning Commission for the city of Clovis consists of five Clovis residents appointed by the City Council to make decisions and recommendations on City planning issues. Any decisions made by the Commission may be appealed to the City Council. 

  • Alma Antuna *absent*
  • Brandon Bedsted 
  • Mike Cunningham (Chair Pro-tem)
  • Amy Hatcher
  • Paul Hinkle (Chair)

PUBLIC HEARING ITEM #1: Consider Approval – Res. 22-__, CUP2022-002. 

Summary: Item #1 requests the commission’s approval of a conditional use permit for a new construction project of a “five-story (60 feet in height), 113-room hotel, with an ancillary restaurant use and associated parking at 570 N. Clovis Avenue (west side of N. Clovis Avenue, north of SR168).”

Applicant details: Goon Pattanumotana, owner; Bottom Line Development (Jay Virk and Orlando Ramirez), applicant/representative. 

Staff: George González, Senior Planner 

Recommendation: Approve 

** retrieved from agenda, more details here **

Presentation from Staff: Senior Planner, George González

  • Summarized the essence of the project, including details on:
    • Height: (see above) + will encompass 2.5 acres of land
    • Location: Situated between North Rogers Ave, Spruce Ave, and N. Clovis Ave.
    • Surrounding area: primarily industrial and residential area will surround it 
    • Exterior design: Will include a parking lot, perimeter lighting and landscape improvement, two ingress and egress access points. 
    • Interior design: 1st floor — guest rooms, lobby, gym, restaurant, break areas utility; 2-4 floors — guest rooms + housekeeping; 5th floor — large guest suites, restaurant w/ bar and dining deck.
  • Key part of the item has been updated based on negotiations between the applicant and the Clovis Police Department regarding the applicant’s project and the city’s existing noise restrictions. According to González:
    • The client met with the police department and planning staff concerning potential noise between floors and the outdoor rooftop (for neighboring residential and industrial zones). 
    • Applicant agreed to make modifications accommodating these residents and businesses, including adding additional airspace to exterior of restaurant; extra foam padding between floors of the hotel; and increasing the security tempered glass on the north side of the outdoor dining area to 8 feet.
    • As a result of discussion: applicant is now requesting a new maximum building height of 70 feet to accommodate these changes (typical height restrictions on this zone has been 81 ft since 1993).
  • Overall revised conditions applicant is requesting from commission:
    • conditional use permit
    • To eliminate condition 10 of the proposal which prohibits live music
    • Modify relevant clauses per PDs new conditions approval
  • Staff recommendations: Approve.

Questions from commission to staff:

  • The commission asked staff to clarify on the sound modifications — chiefly concerned with how late into night the music/noise of the restaurant would be permitted to go on. 
    • Staff clarified the hours of operation would remain in place from 8 p.m. to midnight, but that no music would be permitted (per discussions with PD) past 10 p.m. 
    • Music would also only be permitted, staff affirmed, on the inside portion of the rooftop restaurant; outside portions are still prohibited from live music to prevent disturbance.
  • Board asked about the originality of such a hotel/restaurant to Clovis.
    • Staff clarified it would indeed be “the first of its kind” in the area. 

Applicant comment:

  • Project representative Orlando Ramirez spoke at this time on the history of the project:
    • Focused on the “long way” the project has come; namely, the compromises that have been made on the part of the client (moved location to increase size and accommodate neighbors; significant cooperation with PD to address noise concerns). Overall, is “really excited about moving forward” with the present plans.
  • Board asked for music clarifications.
    • Ramirez clarified that the live music — if it included a band at all — would be catered towards “fine-dining […] ambient music” more than a “rock band”. Assured would be within noise limitations regardless.
  • Commission asked for clarifications on the orientation of the building.
    •  Ramirez confirmed the outdoor restaurant will face east (away from residential areas) so noise should really be minimal.
  • Board asked about the hotel’s orientation with relation to the 168 roadway: 
    • Ramirez confirmed the building would be “about 30 ft higher than the roadway”, assuring the commission that visitors would have a “nice-view” of Clovis.
  • The commission requested a timeline comparison to another hotel project that had been approved in the past. “The planning commission approved the hotel on the other side of 168 2.5 yrs ago, and there’s been no construction yet…”, one member added, “Will (your) project be a little bit more timely than that?”
    • Ramirez affirmed that this project would be in construction much sooner, citing adequate funding as the main difference between the two projects. “We want to build this and we want to start in 2023 to build this”, Ramirez assured.

Public comment (Support/Opposition):

  • No public comments were raised at this point.

Commission Discussion:

  • No further discussion was held at this point.


  • The motion to approve the proposal with the new conditions was approved, with all members in attendance voting yes.
  • Motion passes.

PUBLIC HEARING ITEM #2: Consider revoking CUP2020-004

Summary: “Consideration of the revocation of a previously approved conditional use permit allowing the expansion of an existing athletic facility to include outdoor athletic training, activities, and events for a portion of an approximate 0.6 acre property located at 340 Clovis Avenue due to a lack of compliance with the conditions of approval.”

Applicant details: Athletic Performance, applicant; David Standifer, representative.

Staff: Dave Merchen, City Planner 

Recommendation: Approve

** see more on agenda here **

Presentation from Staff Dave Merchen, City Planner

  • Merchen met with the commission to provide the city with a “better sense of where things were” with the project to inform the vote.
  • On the history of CUP 2020-004:
    • The conditional use permit was originally approved on 9/24/2020, but was revoked earlier this year based on the client’s noncompliance with the terms of approval.
    • There were initially 40 conditions of approval: 
      • 33 conditions were met at 01/27/2022
      • 8 conditions remain out of place as of today: 7 relate to sidewalk, frontage, and trash enclosure improvements; one relates to the required LMD (land maintenance) annexation, but is “close to being remedied”.
  • Status of the project before the 05/26/2022 Review vs. Status after (the project today):
    • Status before/on the 5/26 review: According to Merchen, the client was looking forward to taking control of the site beginning to meet those conditions and start the work.
      • Client had proposed a schedule for when those plans would be met as follows: 
  • Initial submittal of plans by 6/23
  • Final approval of plans by 7/25
  • Final completion of work by 8/15
  • Missed enough deadlines on these conditions to prompt a review by the commission. On 5/26/22 this review was conducted; at which point the commission voted to modify the conditions of the permit to suspend outdoor operations until all conditions were approved, which brings us to today.
  • Status since the 5/26 review: Merchen described the applicant’s actions since the review as overall “good, but perhaps not adequate”. Developments include:
    • Client met the first deadline (5/3) but missed their deadlines for the second set of plans, second set of plans submitted 8/3 (after deadline for approval) and, consequently, is behind schedule on current set of plans.
    • Applicant did complete CASP inspection first week of August (final report pending) met w engineering staff on 8/11 to review plan comment. 
    • Client expects those third submittal of plans to be submitted by upcoming Monday (8/29).

Questions from commission to staff:

  • Timeline: 
    • Q: As the applicant does seem more “engaged and interested in completing this project now”, the commission is curious on what will happen if everything goes as is currently planned. Asks if those plans go through by 9/11/22, what will happen next?
    • A: While it is“tough to answer”, staff suggested the commission expect those plans within a month. “They can start as soon as their permits are approved, so mid-September” seems to the staff like a reasonable expectation.
  • LMD-specific timeline:
    • Q:  Has any progress been made on the LMD deadline from August 18 to now? 
    • A: With less certainty on this front, staff suggested that there would be little doubt on a near finalization. Applicant “should be signing it” soon. 
  • Options for the commission on the proposal. At this time staff reviewed the commission’s options on the item:
  1. Revoke : remove permission to use/ develop land outright.
  2. Extend suspension: Extend the current suspension on the permit the applicant has to use the land. This option would allow the applicant the time to use the land only to implement the conditions of this permit that have not been met thus far.
  3. Other: No specifics; would function as an action based solely on the commission’s discretion.
  • Staff recommendation: (2) 
    • Revoke based on being out of compliance with the conditions of approval and revoking CUP 2020-004, or
    • Extend suspension to avoid bureaucratic difficulties. In other words, if the commission voted to revoke the permit (which historically it has rarely ever done), the client would likely only appeal to the city council and reapply to do the same thing. The goal is not to see it go away, but to get it done the fastest, so the suspension would be an incentive for that. 
  • Board questioned staff on the confidence in applicant:
    • Q: “Are you satisfied wtih the level of communication you’ve had with the client now versus then?
    • Staff: Yes. After a “face meeting” held between the city and the applicant, Merchen confirmed that communication with the project has improved: “ (it’s been) much better than when it started.”
    • While pleased with the communication improvement, the commission remained curious on the capacity of the applicant to stay on track if given another chance. “We’ve missed a lot of deadlines” so far, one member posited; so what’s to keep the client from delaying again once they get this extension? If they get it approved, what is their timeline?
    • Staff: All things considered, staff affirmed that deadlines would reasonably be met within 1-2 months of work.

Applicant comment:

  • A representative for the applicant spoke to clarify a few details surrounding the deadline delays:
    • Attributed miscalculations and unrealistic expectations to much of the missed deadlines. Admittedly, the representative shared, when the team first set out to complete this project, they “didn’t really didn’t know what they were getting into”. 
    • A “Mr. Wells” was credited with the responsibility for many budget mistake: entrusted as more of a “friend and colleague than an engineer”, many key deadlines were set — and missed — based on his advice.
    • Apologize for miscommunication and affirmed commitment to the future of the project: “We are Old Town Clovis, we provide great opportunities for Clovis, we have made Clovis home. We totally understand this (the new deadlines/conditions) isn’t what we agreed to and what the council expected, but we do look forward to completing the project soon.”

Public comment (support/opposition):

  • Kristine Wilson spoke in support of Athletic Performance (AP) “from a parent’s perspective”:
    • Affirmed the “good service work” that AP has done for the youth in Clovis: “there are children that go there for free. He (the owner of AP) is a generous man”.
    • Impact especially important during height of the pandemic: “that outdoor use permit was a godsend during covid for the kids to go and commune. 
    • Implored board to not reject the permit, give him that extension: “if you take this away you will take this away from so many children in Clovis”
  • Kevin Jordan, an executive for an unnamed foster home agency in the county, spoke in support of AP and their contribution to the community:
    • “To let these kids go there for free, giving the kids these opportunities is such a nice thing.”
    • Requested an extended suspension from the commission: “He gives back to the community… and I believe he can still do some special things for the community (if given the chance)”.
  • Scott Wilson, director of a local youth football program, spoke in support for AP as well:
    • By providing additional recreational spaces for the young athletes in Clovis, Wilson affirmed that AP provides “a huge opportunity” for the youth to train in or out of a school environment.
    • Requested that the commission extend the suspension of the permit: “to see it (AP) shut down would not be a good thing for the kids”.
  • A business lawyer for the client also spoke in support of AP, appealing that more faith be put in the capacities of the client to follow through on their timeline:
    • Requested that the fall for some deadlines be placed not on the client but on himself: “I will take the fall for (not getting the LMD) filed on time”. 
    • Argued that an extended suspension would not only be fair, but more practical for all involved. With the goal of all being to get the land developed, he contended, revoking would simply prolong the process as he and the client “would just appeal (the ruling to city council)”.
    • Added that, while previous shortcomings from the client were “probably not the best moves” to make, the commission should still vote to extend. “We are where we are…”, so it is best to not keep the permit shut down for another few months with a revoking.

Commission discussion:

  • Commissioner Bedsted spoke on the conflicting dilemma that this item presents to the board, who on the one hand wants to support a community center, but on the other hand does not want to invest resources in a precarious business: 
    • “The board wants to be business friendly, but this has not been a short timeline whatsoever. […] I hear the community (saying) to give him one more chance, but at what point do we stop giving him extra chances?”
    • “(I don’t) want to be a bureaucrat”, Bedsted added, as revoking the permit would certainly make client jump through hoops for the project. Still, for Bedsted, “it’s hard to believe that (the project) will be done on time.”
  • Commissioner Cunningham spoke on similar concerns that he finds the a further extension would allow the applicant:
    • “To me it’s really personal when people tell me they give me their word to get it done and fast forward it’s still not done”’
    • “I was here when the client [last] gave his word that [the project] would be done on time… How many more times [do we meet] just to hear the same story?”
    • “We’ve been dealing with this since 2020; and yes we’ve had Covid and other roadblocks…but there have been other businesses that have [faced the same obstacles] and got it done.” 
  • Commissioner Hatcher recognized the legitimacy of these concerns, but ultimately affirmed their intent to extend the suspension one last time:
    • “I understand the position [of wanting to revoke]… The client shouldn’t have made promises that they knew they couldn’t get done, but [they did.] We’ve all been there.“ 
    • While Hatcher expressed being“personally against revoking”, they did affirm that this would realistically be the last time not-revoking would be an option for the client. Hatcher recommended, then, that a suspension should be granted one last time, with the applicant truly prioritizing getting the necessary improvements made. Should the applicant not meet the conditions by the determined deadline, however, Hatcher affirmed that there would “really be no coming back from that”.
  • Commissioner Hinkle spoke on the dilemma placed on the commission between faith and practicality in this project. 
    • “We have to achieve these milestones. Like you all (public) I have been in favor of this business… but it is a dilemma. At what point — one chance, two chance, three chance — do we say enough is enough? […]”
    • Before making a recommendation, though, he asked the client’s representatives some clarifying questions: “We need to know unequivocally: what other barriers could possibly exist for you” to get this project done?
      • Representative for the client affirmed that while matters have been precarious before “everything (from financing to contracting) is in place”. “We expect 4 weeks” for plans to be finalized.
    • “I guess the nature of my question”, Bedsted replied, “is to ask if there are any more gotchas” or other matters that would require the board to discuss this yet another time?
      • A representative spoke: “No, there is no issue now; but that (concern) is totally on us”.
    • Bedsted followed: “When monday comes, are you prepared to meet again (with the board/staff) to put a bow on things”
      • A representative affirmed: “If that’s what is needed, yes.”


  • A motion to extend suspension until the meeting of the commission on Oct. 27, 2022, on the terms that a) if not completed by deadline, the permit will be removed and b) if completed before the 8/27/22 deadline, the applicant can apply to have the suspension removed early and conditional use of the land restored was proposed by Commissioner Cunningham and seconded by Commissioner Bedsted.
  • A vote was then taken: the motion passed unanimously.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:08 p.m. The meeting lasted approximately 67 minutes.

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