California Attorney General Rob Bonta, on Wednesday, entered yet another Fresno battleground over environmental justice.
In a news release, Bonta urged the Fresno City Council and city leaders to deny the application to rezone — from neighborhood mixed-use to light industrial uses — a hotly debated 92.5 acres of land on Elm and Annadale avenues in southwest Fresno.
“Southwest Fresno contains some of the most over-burdened and under-invested environmental justice communities in all of California,” the attorney general’s news release stated.
“In 2017, the City of Fresno undertook a long-overdue, years-long project to address the heavy pollution burden falling on Southwest Fresno communities – eventually rezoning multiple parcels of land to less intensive uses. The city’s proposal to rezone this land once again is misguided, and I urge the City Council to abandon this likely unlawful proposal.”
The rezone is scheduled to be heard by the Fresno City Council at their meeting Thursday.
A coalition of community leaders is also urging the council to reject the rezone or any alternatives in favor of creating a “cleaner and greener industrial overlay zone” instead.
The coalition – led by Pastor Booker T. Lewis, Mary Curry, Dr. Venise Curry, Debbie Darden, and Robert Mitchell – have been advocating for environmental justice in the neighborhood for several decades.
This story will be updated.