At its Monday meeting, the Clovis City Council approved increases to housing density and height that will help the city meet state housing requirements. Source: Kristina Mansfield/Fresno Documenters

Documented by Kristina Mansfield

What happened: In a 3-1 vote, the Clovis City Council approved increases to housing density and height in certain areas zoned for multifamily residential developments, which could help the city meet state housing requirements.

Monday’s vote comes after the planning commission unanimously approved recommendation of the changes that amend the range for the High Density Residential land use designation from 25 to 30 units per acre and modify the maximum height for the R-3 Zone District from 35 to 45 feet.

Council member Diane Pearce was the lone vote against the change due to her opposition to “Sacramento” and desire for more “local control.” Council member Matt Basgall was absent from this meeting.

“My vote on this is going to be a protest of what I believe is Sacramento taking our local control, not allowing us to do things that we think are best for our community,” Pearce said.

At the Aug. 24 Clovis Planning Commission meeting, City Planner Dave Merchen said the changes will help the city meet its requirements for low income, high density multifamily housing — a matter which the city previously fought in court and lost.

And also: Local housing activist Desiree Martinez who previously sued the city of Clovis commented on its continued lack of affordable housing.

Martinez said that although Butterfly Gardens was built in Clovis in Dec. 2022 to be affordable housing, it is only affordable in name because it is specifically for individuals experiencing mental illness who receive housing vouchers.

“So is it affordable for all? No. I …still can’t afford to move to Clovis, because the only affordable housing that you’ve ever built is only for people that go through the Department of Behavioral Health with the county,” Martinez said. “This is leaving hundreds of people without a unit of their own.”

Up next: The Clovis City Council will meet again Oct. 2.

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The Fresno Documenters are a group of local residents who are trained and paid to attend and take notes at local public meetings where officials decide how to spend public money and make important decisions...