Here’s what you need to know

  • The Clovis City Council met on September 12, 2022 and spent more than an hour discussing the possibility of preserving historically significant buildings in Clovis through a government commission. The discussion was met with hesitation from the public; in total, four residents spoke in favor of delaying any formal action until concerns of government restriction could be better incorporated. While members of the council echoed much of these “hands-off” government sentiments, the council ultimately voted unanimously to take action today and set the foundation to later establish a commission.
  • The council also approved the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) for expenditure of Community Development Block Grant funds for 2021-22. The report showed that CDBG funds were used to add a community service officer, for reconstruction of two alleys and provide home rehabilitation grants to 16 households, but that no progress has been made to use $1.5 million in CDBG funds for non-housing community development.  
  • Lastly, the council moved forward a 15-lot single-family subdivision at the southeast corner of Armstrong and Gettysburg Avenues developed by Gary McDonald Homes and Gleneagle Homes, despite concerns about parking from nearby residents. 

Follow-up questions

  • Given the increasing electoral presence of younger demographics and the marked concern of social and economic equity that accompanies this key demographic, will rhetoric  — like that used by Councilmember Whalen on appropriating “equity and diversity”- centric language for monetary gain  — begin to see some push back?
  • What can the lively discussion around the establishment of a Historic Preservation Commission tell us about the conflict of ideologies in Clovis? Specifically, the conflict between an inclination to preserve tradition versus an upset around government intervention?
  • Will additional bodycam footage of the in-custody death of Isabel De La Torre referenced by Councilmember Ashbeck be released to the public and/or the victim’s family any time soon? If not, what conversation about local government’s ethics and transparency can be had following this meeting — especially in light of the legal and political disputes being raised against the Clovis Police Department’s lack of internal diversity and use of racially-motivated excessive force that have been brought to light this past year?

I) Intro + Proceedings:

Call to Order

Flag Salute 

Roll Call 



1. Presentation of Certificates of Recognition to Students Receiving American Legion

Boys and Girls State Awards

2. Presentation by Fresno County Economic Development Corporation on Services

III ) Public Comments 

No public comments were made.

IV) Ordinances and Resolutions 

V) Consent Calendar (items approved with a single vote)

Per the agenda:

Items considered routine in nature are to be placed upon the Consent Calendar. They will all be considered and voted upon in one vote as one item unless a Councilmember requests individual consideration. A Councilmember’s vote in favor of the Consent Calendar is considered and recorded as a separate affirmative vote in favor of each action listed. Motions in favor of adoption of the Consent Calendar are deemed to include a motion to waive the reading of any ordinance or resolution on the Consent Calendar. For adoption of ordinances, only those that have received a unanimous vote upon introduction are considered

 Consent items.

3. Administration – Approval – Minutes from the August 1, 2022, Council Meeting.

4. Administration – Adopt – Ord. 22-07, Amending various sections of the Clovis Municipal Code relating to the quadrant intersection development fee. (Vote: 5-0)

5. Administration – Approval – Res. 22-___, Amending the Conflict of Interest Code list of Designated Employees.

6. Administration – Receive and File – Economic Development Corporation Serving Fresno County Quarterly Report, April – June 2022.

7. Administration – Approval – FY 2022-23 Agreement between the City of Clovis and the Economic Development Corporation Serving Fresno County.

8. Administration – Approval – Res. 22-___, A Resolution authorizing the City Manager to approve the sales of mobile homes obtained through California’s CalHome Program, and other state and/or federal affordable housing programs, and to execute all necessary documents to effectuate the sales.

9. Finance – Receive and File – Investment Report for the Month of May 2022.

10. Finance – Receive and File – Treasurer’s Report for the Month of May 2022.

11. General Services – Approval – Claim Rejection of the General Liability Claim on behalf of Cynthia Enns, Elwood Enns, and the Estate of Carson Warren Enns.

12. General Services – Approval – Res. 22-___, Authorizing Amendments to the Senior Systems Video Analyst Classification in the Police Department.

13. Planning and Development Services – Approval – Res. 22-___, Final Map Tract 6389, located in the southwest area of Loyola and North De Wolf Avenues (Granville Homes).

14. Planning and Development Services – Approval – Res. 22-___, Annexation of Proposed Tract 6389, located in the southwest area of Loyola and North De Wolf Avenues to the Landscape Maintenance District No. 1 of the City of Clovis (Granville Homes).

15. Planning and Development Services – Approval – Bid Award for CIP 17-21 Well 35 Drilling and Development; and Authorize the City Manager to execute the contract on behalf of the City.

* 16. Planning and Development Services – Approval – Res. 22-___, Amending the 2022-2023 Community Investment Program (CIP) budget and authorizing the execution of a real property purchase agreement for property located at 2791 Serena Avenue.

* Council voted to discuss and amend item 16* of the calendar as follows:

  1. Staff Presentation: 
  • Staff reports polling community on whether the property could be purchased or not: 45 responses obtained overall (representing 44 homes)
    • 35 voted  in support for remaining; 9 in favor of elimination
    • One eliminate vote said she bought home on the pretense that this would be eliminated — worries it remaining would mean that crime goes up, among others
  • Staff has negotiated with local partners and agreed that land could be purchased for $205,000
    • With this attached budget amendment staff is proposing to acquire the property which would use Measure C funds. Staff would request permission to enter in agreement for land to remain
  1. Questions/Comments from council:
  • The local fire and police department are in favor of the land remaining open  because it would keep more entrances open, better for safety. 
  • Ashbeck recommended to approve — but urged police to check out the area to address crime rates
  • PD representative said if further watches would aggravate existing speeding problems around the area — did not recommend pursuing this route

VI) Public Hearings

  • Staff requested that 19 & 20 be moved for next meeting on September 19 review for the sake of brevity
  • Board voted unanimously in favor of this option — today’s meeting, then, will only focus on items 17, 18, and 21:

17. Approved adoption of the City of Clovis 2021-2022 Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) for expenditure of Community Development Block Grant Funds. 

  • Claudia Cazares presents a consolidated review of CAPER and the case to adopt it to the Board:
  • How can CAPER be adopted?
    • Procedurally includes three steps:
      • Conduct review and create draft in specific format,
      • Publish draft for review,
      • Once reviewed, hold a public hearing for authorization.
  • CDBG Performance for the Fiscal year (FY) 21-22 project and prior year carry over projects.
    • CDBG projects belong to three main realms:
      • Housing rehabilitation — Staff was able to conduct sixteen grants for housing with Habitat for Humanity.
      • Area based policing — Created more call for service; educational campaigns were also successful.
      • Micro enterprise  — Helped fund local community kitchen, for example.
    • Some projects still need to be completed (the following are developments with designs that are near complete and awaiting bidding [est Sept 2022])
      • Gettybsurg/Norwich Alley 2019-2020
      • Alleys 20-21 Dennis/Beverly/Mitchell San Jose
  • Addressing 5-year goals and results (read: name — goal — current results — percent (current/goal))
    • Housing rehab: goal to assist 125 households — results: 16 household (12.8%)
    • Area based policing — goal: 125000 persons — results: 25000 — 20%
    • Public facilities or infrastructure — goal 5300 — 0 — 0
    • Business incubator — goal 50 businesses — 19 — 38%
      • Ashbeck asked whether they would incorporate more businesses into that incubator idea (like tech) — Staff said it might be possible.
  • Councilmember Mouanoutoua commended the commission for the great reach their organization has
    • “Your dollars go beyond the curb to reach the home. Give people pride” in where they live.
  • Councilmember Ashbeck agreed: While it is hard to measure the health of a city, you likely contribute to improving this health: “you not only save their house but likely their health! So let’s think of more ways to tell that story”

18. Approved various options regarding the creation of a historic preservation board, including:

a. Establish a temporary committee that would assess historic resources in the City of Clovis and provide recommendations to City Council on the protection of those identified resources;

b. Consider Introduction – Ord. 22-___, An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Clovis adding Chapter 9.81 of Title 9 of the Clovis Municipal Code creating a Historic Preservation Board;

  • Staff members Andrew Haussler; Renee Mathis outlined the history of item and options available to the Council as follows:
    • Historic Preservation Board Background
      • May 2, 2022 – Council received an update on the status of the 325 Pollasky Avenue (Clovis Chamber of Commerce Building)
      • June 6, 2022 – Council directed creation of an advisory board as described in Clovis Municipal Code 9.120.020 
        • “City review board designated to promote the cultural, economic, educational, and general welfare of the City through the preservation and protection of buildings, sites, structures, areas, and districts of historic significance and Interest.”
    • Past two months staff has developed an ordinance to establish an advisory board. An Overview will be provided. (Option B)
    • Staff has developed one other alternative to consider. (Option A)
    • Council can decide to take no action at this time. (Option C)
  • Option A: Historic Preservation Initial Committee (Opt. A)
    • Establish a temporary committee.
    • Would assess historic resources in the City of Clovis.

Provide recommendations to the City Council on historic resources to consider protecting.

 Provide recommendations on the methods/tools to protect identified resources.

  • Option B: Historic Preservation Board Ordinance Review (Opt. B) 
    • Goals (as provided by Council): 
      • Create an advisory board to the Planning Commission and City Council. 
      • Create an initial list of historic landmarks and historic sites. 
      • Advisory board would maintain the list of historic landmarks and historic sites.
    • Research Completed:
      • Reviewed other City’s policies.Consulted the guidebooks published by the State of California on Historic Preservation. Developed team to create/review the ordinance with City Attorney in the lead.
  • Option C: Take No Action – Current Policy (Opt. C); implemented by the following policies:
    • Policy 2.9: National and state historic resources. Preserve historical sites and buildings of state or national significance in accordance with the Secretary of Interior Standards for Historic Rehabilitation.
    • Policy 2.10: Local historic resources. Encourage property owners to maintain the historic integrity of the site by (listed in order of preference): preservation, adaptive reuse, or memorialization.
    • Policy 2.11; Old Town. Prioritize the preservation of the historic character and resources of Old Town.
    • Policy 2.12: Public education. Support public education efforts for residents and visitors about the unique historic, natural, and cultural resources in Clovis.
    • Further implemented by the Central Clovis Specific Plan with design guidelines and language desiring to preserve the historic nature of the Old Town Area.
  • Following the presentation, the Board had lively discussion on the implications of each option, centralizing government intervention and property rights as the priority of the choices. The councilmembers also discussed the logistical hardships each option would propose including the financial hardships associated with creating a staff board for this item and the role that the local government would have in retrieving and should it be deemed appropriate.

Public Comments:

  1. Sherry Miller, resident, spoke in general advocacy of implementing a historical preservation commission in Clovis; albeit not in the way that had been proposed in options A or B, listing members of the community that they felt would be fit to do the job. “We have a darling old town… I think that this approach was very narrowly focused. I would request that we go back to the drawing board and… we back off a little from the detail, look to where it [Historical commissions] works well, and [try again]?”
  2. Tom Right, resident, spoke in favor of implementing a committee for overseeing Clovis’s history is preserved with modern interests in mind. “Let’s get committed to doing this [preserving Clovis’s history] now….let’s see what we can do to accommodate saving historical things and also letting projects progress as they will.”
  3. Bill Smittcamp, resident, spoke in opposition of the Council intervening on this matter. “I stand here as a landowner, commercial building owner… I’m here to say that we need to do what’s right. I don’t know if we need a commission…if we get government involved, I’m nervous.”
  4. Greg Newman, President/CEO of Clovis Chamber spoke in favor of delaying action on the item to incorporate the public’s concern.  “This is a big decision.. I think [given the public hesitancy] we need to take more time…. Let’s take a step back and make sure if we’re going to do this, we do it the right way.”

Board Comments:

  • Councilmember Bessinger: advocates Option C speaking on hesitancy about taking action too soon, spent time advocating the benefits of Option C’s delayed action. Ultimately confirmed, though, that he would support the action of the majority.
  • Councilmember Whalen advocates Option C “we’re in no rush”. Urged board to take time in the decision, as there is no need to get government involved “Government is there to intervene when needed… I’m just not sure we need it to intervene yet”
  • Councilmember Mouanoutoua: advocates Option A “I don’t like the government involved… [but] how do we balance the two {[property rights and taking action]? To do nothing now may lead us to where we actually don’t ever do anything. [I believe] this group can get a good body established” Urged taking action now to guarantee that Clovis is preserved; being able to relate to Clovis’s history “for future generations… that’s important.” 
  • Councilmember Ashbeck echoed Councilmember Mouanoutoua’s ideal of preserving history while it is still possible : ‘I couldn’t have said it better than Vong… [this item is about asking] how do we ensure that our history gets told again and again and again?’ Feels precarious about how that gets achieved now, but ultimately advocated that Option A was the best option.

F) Vote: 5-0 in favor of hybrid “Option A doing C”, Essentially, council established a commission of no more than 10 members (each councilmember may appoint 2, only requirement is living in the city of Clovis) that would better enforce the policies outlined under option C.

21. Approved the vesting tentative tract map and planned development permit for a 15-lot single-family subdivision at the southeast corner of Armstrong and Gettysburg Avenues developed by Gary McDonald Homes and Gleneagle Homes. 

  • Unnamed members of staff presented the following to the Council, filling in for George González, Senior Planner.
  • Location:
    •  Southeast corner of Armstrong and Gettysburg Avenues, just under 4.5 acres. 
    • Currently vacant site surrounded by residential uses.  
  • Proposals:
  1. TM6403: 
    1. Infill project; 15-lot SFR at 3.70 Infill project
    2. 15-lot SFR at 3.70 DU/AC
    3. Consistent with the Low Density land use designation
  2. PDP 2022-001:
    1. Original details: 8000 sq ft minimum lot size; gated sfrd; private street; no interior sidewalks.
    2. Developments: applicant has reduced setbacks around crowding of sidewalks and increased lot coverage.
    3. Project amenity: bus stop shade structure
    4. Secondary amenity: contribute funds for regional trail improvements
  • Staff recommendation
    • Approve Vesting Tentative Tract Map TM6403, subject to the conditions of approval listed as Attachment A of Attachment 1; and
    • Approve Planned Development Permit PDP2022-002, subject to the conditions of approval listed at Attachment A of Attachment 2.
    • Make a finding of consistency that the dedication toward public right-of-way is proportionate to the development being requested. 
  • Council comments:
    • Multiple members of the council emphasized the priority of keeping this project focused on the parking needs of the surrounding areas. Staff emphasized that this would indeed be a continued priority.
    • Still, members remained skeptical of any resolution; predicting that innocuous events like birthday parties would cause parking congestion and calls to the PD.

Public comments: 

  • Mr. Smith, an engineer that worked with the applicant, spoke in support of approving this project; affirming that the design was constructed with the potential problems around congestion in mind. “I understand the concerns… but we believe that we have a very nice project proposed here.”
  • An unnamed resident of a neighboring lot spoke on the concerns that they feel all residents will likely have for this development project. Their concerns ranged from everyday parking to potential events becoming more impractical in light of this development: “[Only having one entrance to the site] will be a lot. You would have to walk a long distance to get out to Gettysburg if there’s no parking in the development. I’ve lived here 30 years and (know that) that intersection is really busy…. It [navigation; parking] will be insane.”
  • Gary McDonald, developer for the project, commented on the concerns raised by residents and councilmembers on traffic. Recalling the developments to the project design that their team has already made in consideration of these concerns, McDonald affirmed their faith in the success of the project: “If it (the parking concerns) were a dealbreaker we would say ‘Certainly’, [changing the designs further] at the discretion of the city council. [Yet, as the{ Planning Commission had no problems with it…  I would be very very grateful if you would approve my project. Let’s go ahead and get this area that has been sitting there for a long long time [developed]”.
  • Voted to Approve “A” 4-0 (Ashbeck abstained due to a conflict of interest) 
  • Voted to Approve “B”, with an amendment removing the condition to exclude parking on the street, 4-0

VII) City Manager Comments:

  • Reminded the council on developments to keep in mind with the upcoming November election:
    • County clerk certifies election within 30 days
    • Likely to cancel meeting of Nov 21–thanksgiving week
    • Reception for Mayor Flores and Councilmember Whalen and Christmas tree lighting on December 5
    • Council reorganization on December 12 (if not, call special meeting to reschedule)

VIII) Council Comments 

  • Councilmember Mouanoutoua spoke on local developments:
    • Excellent program at the fire station; revitalizes area
    • 9/11 ceremony “beautiful; very meaningful”
    • Update on an unnamed local government meeting:
      • Bylaws changed — extended committee members (13) added diversity caucus
      • Voted to move local control also passed we voted no to move local control discussion back to enviro committee and housing ec committee they will hash out local control again and bring it back up)
  • Councilmember Whalen took the moment to air their grievances with this same meeting’s developments; chiefly those surrounding “diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability”:
    • “I like to go to these little workshops that I don’t normally attend to get an understanding of what other people may be thinking or saying. I find often what is out there in the media is sometimes different than what actually goes on… I will just say that when the discussion was related to diversity and equity — really just equity and sustainability — they didn’t talk about inclusion and that’s probably because it wasn’t really on the agenda… but i think there is a fear on those who are kind of on the left side politically of having inclusion because sometimes that means that they would have to listen to what those on the right side have to say so they don’t really bring that up too much in the political discussions.”
    • “When it came to equity and diversity, I was happy to learn that when they started talking about this in the context of what community development looks like it was building and maintaining infrastructure [&] parks… and having some green space, building trusts and relationship with law enforcement. These are areas the city of Clovis has always been focused on. I didn’t know we were a DEI community, but apparently we are,” he said and members of the council laughed. “It was a little bit ironic that when they would talk about what they were talking about they would say ‘we look at everything through the lens of equity’ …Two cities were saying this, like, catch phrase. And also what I learned is when you put stuff like that in a grant application, you get money. So I think that we are a DEI community, we have the ability get grants. And I only say that half facetiously.” Other council members laughed.
  • Mayor Flores highlighted Clovis Morales Decout who is visiting the city from Paris, France: “This is the kind of stuff that I wanted to get these small flags for those specific purposes. This is something that’s gonna be on his walls probably for the next 60 years.”
  • Councilmember Ashbeck took the moment to discuss infrastructure and policing:
    • Reported concerns on the state of the road on Santa Ana and Armstrong: “I counted 58 patches in the asphalt on this pretty short street! There’s just something not right about that.” Requested that staff work to fix this.
    • On policing: Ashbeck spoke in support of the Clovis Police Department on an unspecified in-custody death claim:
  • “I watched the bodycam from our PD [taken during this altercation] but what I wanted to say is that I was so impressed with our police officers in the most terrifying of situations for anybody. I thought our team was so respectful and so calm. I talked with the Chief who mentioned an Officer Mahoney… and I thought she did everything to deescalate. You know, she sounded more like a nurse… And in an era where people think that police are out of control, I think our team did a really good job. I was very moved by watching the body cam for all the emotions that you would experience. I thought it was really just the best of policing, and I was really impressed.”
  • Though no victim is ever named, the Councilmember’s support for the PD presumably refers to the in-custody death of Isabel De La Torre, who died 24 hours after their encounter with CPD earlier in March of this year. The CPD reports that after “suffering a medical episode” in custody, De La Torre’s death was likely the cause of a “potentially lethal dose of methamphetamines” in their system. De La Torre’s family, however, is not in agreemant with the Clovis Police Department on this and has filed a lawsuit claiming suffocation sustained at the hands of the police is the chief cause of De La Torre’s death. 

IX) Closed session 

*  not open to public, but discussed the following:


Significant Exposure to Litigation Four potential cases based on claims received for the Sunnyside Avenue water main break and property flooding incident on January 3, 2022.

X) Adjournment: 

The meeting adjourned at 9:19 p.m. lasting approximately 3 hours and 19 minutes. The next Clovis City Council meeting is scheduled on September 19. 

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