Documented by Josef Sibala

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The City of Fresno Planning Commission approved a tract map for a Granville Homes condominium subdivision under construction on the north side of Princeton Avenue between Bliss and Fowler avenues. The complex will include 90 dwelling units at a density of 18.11 dwellings per acre, which provides consistency with the Urban Neighborhood Plan land use designation of 16 to 30 dwellings per acre.
  • During a workshop on the development code, Director of Planning and Development Jennifer Clark said she anticipates future amendments, which the council wants to review. She said that land use is constantly changing and is “not a static document.”

Follow-up questions:

  • What amendments to the development code will the commission consider?
  • How will residents benefit from the condominium development? 

The Scene

The city of Fresno Planning Commission meeting took place on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, at 6 p.m. The commission meets on the first and third Wednesdays of the month (unless otherwise noted) at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers located at 2600 Fresno St., on the second floor. 

They make decisions and recommendations on city planning issues and review proposals for compliance with the general plan, to make recommendations to the City Council. 

Commission Members:

  • Chair Peter Vang 
  • Vice Chair Brad Hardie 
  • Commissioner David Criner 
  • Commissioner Haley M Wagner 
  • Commissioner Kathy Bray 
  • Commissioner Monica Diaz 
  • Commissioner Jacqueline Lyday, absent

Others present:

  • Director of Planning and Development Jennifer Clark
  • Planning Manager Phil Secrest
  • Planning Manager Israel Trejo
  • City Attorney Kristi Costa
  • Andrew Phelps from Granville Homes


VII-A  Continued from Oct. 4, 2023 

Consideration of Vesting Tentative Tract Map and the related Environmental Assessment T-6346 is approximately 4.97 acres of property located on the northeast corner of North Fowler and East Princeton avenues (Council District 7). 

The board (5-0) adopted Environmental Assessment T-6346 dated Aug. 16, 2023, a determination that the proposed project is categorically exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under Section 15315/Class 15 (Minor Land Divisions) of CEQA guidelines. 

The board (5-0) approved Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 6346, which requests authorization to subdivide the subject property into a one-lot subdivision for condominium-construction purposes, subject to compliance with the conditions of approval dated Oct. 18.

Supervising Planner Rob Holt said that the property is located on the north side of Princeton Avenue between Bliss and Fowler avenues.

The properties to the north include a recently approved 71-lot single-family gated subdivision. The west side includes a drive-thru restaurant and a commercial retailer.

The immediate property to the west is a wholesale distribution business. To the east and south sides of the subject property are single-family residential neighborhoods. 

The project site received previous approval for 2024 for 90 multi-family dwelling units. The residential density of the complex is 18.11 dwellings per acre, which provides consistency with the Urban Neighborhood Plan land use designation of 16 to 30 dwellings per acre.

The development standards were complied with, particularly on parking, setbacks and landscaping. The map is a one-lot subdivision to authorize a condominium map for the previously approved multi-development project.

Andrew Phelps from Granville Homes said that the project is under construction. 

VIII-A ID Workshop on “How to Read and Use the Development Code” 

Clark said that the development code or zoning code guides land use in the city.

The code contains five types of regulations controlling property development, such as use regulation, development standards, land divisions, administrative regulations and general terms and use classification.

The code has six parts, which consist of:

  • General Provisions
  • Base and Overlay Districts
  • Regulation Applying to All or Some Districts
  • Land Division
  • Administration and Permits
  • General Terms and Definition

The General Provisions are as follows:

  • Article 1: Introductory Provisions
  • Article 2: Rules for Construction of Language
  • Article 3: Rules of Measurement
  • Article 4: Nonconforming Uses, Structures, Site Features and Lots

Planning Manager Phil Secrest said that base districts are built upon a purpose, use regulation, and density and massing developmental standards.

He said that overlay districts are built upon a purpose, its applicability, use regulation and developmental standards.

General Site Regulations prescribe development and site regulations that apply, except where specifically stated.

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Height and Density Bonus provides flexibility for projects that promote walkability, livability and transit ridership near stations for Bus Rapid Transit and other enhanced transit services.

Affordable Housing Density Bonus aims to lessen the shortage of housing affordable to moderate, low and very low-income households in the city.

Landscape article seeks to enhance the appearance and function of all development by providing standards on the quality, quantity and design of landscaping.

Parking and Loading article aims to minimize design impacts that can result from parking lots, driveways and drive aisles within parking lots.

Performance standards article establishes permissible limits and allows objective measurement of nuisance and objectionable conditions.

Planning Manager Israel Trejo spoke about the regulation of signs and the importance of using them as an information system, recognizing the importance of business activity and the need to protect the visual environment.

City Attorney Kristi Costa said that the planning authorities for the Development Code are:

  • City Council
  • Planning Commission
  • Director
  • Historic Preservation Commission
  • Council District Project Review Committee

She said that planning permits and actions are as follows:

  • Zone Clearance
  • Development Permit
  • Conditional Use Permits
  • Temporary Use Permits
  • Variances
  • Minor Deviations
  • Reasonable Accommodations for Housing
  • Amendments to the Development Code such as Text Rezones and Plan Amendments
  • Planned Development Permits
  • Development Agreements
  • Concept Plans. Pre-zoning. and Annexations
  • Street names and Addressing
  • Enforcement

She added that permits have attached findings and criteria, which are on record. 

Clark said she anticipates future amendments to the text of the development code, which the council wants to review. She said that land use is constantly changing and is “not a static document.”

The meeting adjourned at 7.07 p.m. The commission is scheduled to meet again Nov. 1.

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