The Visalia City Council moved forward plans for the 507-acre Carleton Acres project, which the city hopes will attract its second Costco Wholesale.

Documented by Jackie Schuster

What happened: At its Monday meeting, the Visalia City Council moved forward the initiation of annexation and adoption of a new specific plan for the 507-acre Carleton Acres project at the northern edge of the city.

The project will be developed by West Star Construction over the next 20 years to include approximately 3,262 homes and 2,050 square feet of commercial space, which the city hopes will include its second Costco Wholesale.

Located adjacent to Ridgeview Middle School and a future high school, north of Riggin Avenue and west of Akers Street, the development is planned to include primarily low-density housing with some medium- and high-density housing clustered along the edges near the commercial zones.

The conceptual use plan for Carleton Acres in Visalia shows its makeup of primarily of low density housing. Source: City of Visalia

Principal Planner Brandon Smith said the project includes eight lots zoned for commercial space, with three lots dedicated to a potential future Costco Wholesale store.

Smith said a conditional use permit will be required for the mega-retailer, but one has not been filed yet.

Mayor Brian Poochigian asked for clarification on whether Costco has been confirmed.

Paul Bernal, the city’s director of community development, said that while staff has received indications that Costco is planning to move forward, nothing has been finalized.

Travis Crawford, an environmental planner, also presented the final environmental impact report (EIR) of the development, which will be located on land currently used for agriculture.

Based on the EIR analysis, the development will have significant impacts on agriculture, air quality, biology, cultural and tribal resources, geology, hazardous materials, noise, public services and transportation, which will require mitigation.

And also: The Visalia City Council unanimously approved a development agreement for the 95.5-acre Pratt Family Ranch project.

The project is slated to include approximately 541 single-family homes and 8.3 acres of parks and open space.

Located north of Riverway Drive on the west and east sides of Mooney Boulevard, the D.R. Horton project is also planned for land previously zoned for agricultural use.

An existing land use map shows the area poised for development of hundreds of single-family homes in northern Visalia. Source: City of Visalia

Up next: The Visalia City Council will meet again Oct. 16.

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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...