Here’s what you need to know

  • The City of Fresno’s Planning Commission met on October 5, 2022 and voted 3-1 to deny an appeal and uphold the approval of a permit for the planned development of a 37-unit apartment complex with modified parking standards in Downtown Fresno. The development is located on .45 acres on Broadway Street between Stanislaus and Tuolumne Streets. Developers Reza Assemi and Will Dyck are creating the project under the name Dada Enterprises.  
  • An adjacent property owner was concerned about the limited parking space and the impact it will have on the alley, which is routinely used for deliveries of industrial material. Planning and Development Department Manager Jennifer Clark said that due to a new state law, parking minimums can no longer be enforced if developments are within a certain proximity to public transit, which this development is within. 

Follow-up questions

  • If the lack of parking has already caused nearby residents to park in undesignated parking areas, how will future tenants be affected by this? 

The Scene

The Fresno Planning Commission meeting took place on October 5, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was open to the public in Downtown Fresno at 2600 Fresno Street. The meeting was also accessible online via CMAC and Zoom. The Agenda was made available online.

Robert Fuentes, David Criner and Monica Diaz were absent from the meeting.
Brad Hardie was connected online via Zoom. 

Name of Officials:

Peter Vang, Chairperson
Brad Hardie, Vice-Chair
Haley W. Wagner, Commissioner
Kathy Bray, Commissioner
Robert Fuentes, Commissioner
Monica Diaz, Commissioner
David Criner, Commissioner

Actions/Discussions/Public comment

  • ID 22-1486: Development Permit P21-05557 Downtown Fresno & Broadway
  • A 27-unit apartment complex, 31 studio flats, 3 lofts.
  • The apartment complex to be located between Stanislaus and Tuolumne Street. View the Vicinity Map here.
  • April 27, 2022: Project was reviewed and approved by the Council District 3 Project Review Committee
  • June 8, 2022: Notice of Intent to take action mailed to surrounding property owners within 1,000 feet.
  • Concerns:
    • Kepler Neighborhood School were concerned over construction impacts on the play yard.
    • Adjacent property owner concerned about the limited parking space. Reducing required parking spaces reduces utilization of the alley, which is leased to specific tenants. 
  • August 16, 2022: Project was approved
  • September 1, 2022: A request for an appeal was received from the adjacent property owner.
  • Sept 23, 2022: Public hearing notice for planning commission mailed to property owners within 1,000 feet.
  • Oct 4, 2022: Additional letter received from appellant 
  • Chairperson Peter Vang questioned the management of the alley.
  • Commissioner Haley Wagner questions about the street parking limitations, to which Commissioner Bray responds that one of the spaces is a private parking lot.
  • Stephanie Say (applicant for the project):
    • Access to parcels required to be from the alley where it occurs.
    • No parking in the alley, 10 minute clearance and there are no blocking other driveways.
    • Project went through the Planned Development (PD) for modifications to lease to only 7 specific tenants, and will not be available to all 37.
    • Reduction in parking will reduce the alley demands. Parking based on a first come first serve basis. 
    • Tenants choose downtown living, so they are aware that there are reduced parking spaces. Instead, it encourages tenants to use public transit or public lots
    • PD Justification [FMC 15-5905]: Diversity in use, style, and price point creates healthy neighborhoods. Reduction in parking allows for a safe, secured neighborhood in the Downtown area. Increased density and street activation.
    • Provision of infrastructure: Widened sidewalk, add street trees, upgrade to portion of alley, pedestrian access to streets. 
    • Fills a market need for lower price point studio units. Diversity in housing types for socio-economic and family structure variety. 
  • Lisa Flores (Public): A district tower resident, Flores questions if there will be more art a part of the aesthetics in the building if the company will follow practices of the DADA artistic movement
  • Todd Wynkoop: A Fresno real-estate investor for over 12 years, says that the director approved a plan that has 6% less parking than the development plan. Wynkoop says that due to a lack of grocery stores in the neighborhood, it will encourage many to use cars to get their needs met. Wynkoop says that the project is great if only it is optimized correctly by both parties.
  • Stephanie responds to Flores that the placement of art murals in the front of buildings are not allowed as they may not be child friendly and can challenge surrounding competitors. Photos are shared of house planning.
  • Commissioner Kathy Bray says that the market will decide whether the parking spaces will be an issue. So far, Bray says she can already see an issue with parking. 

Vote: Deny public appeal and uphold the action of the planning and development department director to approve permit/planned application.

  • Bray: No 
  • Hardie: Yes 
  • Fuentes: Yes 
  • Vang: Yes 

In a 3-1 vote, the Planning Commission denied the appeal and upheld the action of the PD to approve the permit/planned application. 

  • Report by Secretary: Jennifer K. Clark
    • Clark shares a brief report of an annual meeting she attended, the American Planning Association, in which she learned about housing laws/bills passed in the two years. A bill was signed a week ago.
    • The 2023 conference will be held in Fresno for the first time since the 1980s, suggesting volunteers to attend panels for training sessions with California APA as host.

The meeting adjourned at 7:02 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for October 19 at 6 p.m. 

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