Sunday , June 23 2024

Fresno's Proposed General Plan Draws Criticism

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<p>For the first time in 12 years, Fresno has put together a plan outlining the future of the city for the next 20 years.&nbsp; The Fresno city council is set to vote on the plan tomorrow, but some community members are asking for more time to review the plan.&nbsp; They also want parts of the plan be completely removed.</p><p>On Thursday, Fresno’s general plan will be up for vote.&nbsp; It’s a plan outlining the landscape of the city for the next 20 years.</p><p>Fresno mayor Ashley Swearengin, &quot;That really is our blueprint for growth.&quot;</p><p>But it’s growth that Kevin Hall calls dangerous.</p><p>Air quality activist Kevin Hall says the general plan includes options to build parks near freeways, including at an area near Bullard Avenue and Highway 99.</p><p>&quot;I think that the mayor is asking the city council to participate in a crime against our children.&nbsp; The exhaust from vehicles and the&nbsp; exhaust from trucks which is next to freeways is toxic,&quot; says Hall.</p><p>Hall and other citizens say the plan is being rushed and have asked for 30 more days to review the documents.&nbsp; Sandra Celedon-Castro with Fresno Building Healthy Communities says she was heavily involved in the beginning stages, but was shut out in the last week.</p><p>Celedon-Castro says, &quot;We don’t know entirely what’s in the plan, because we haven’t been given ample time to review the update version.&quot;</p><p>The plan focuses largely on building up exisiting areas of Fresno through infill development.&nbsp; City officials say more than 30,000 new residential structures could come in the next two decades.</p><p>City of Fresno director of development Jennifer Clark says, &quot;It gives us options and gives people the ability to make choices about the way they live and where they live, be it an apartment or a large single family home.&quot;</p><p>Fresno city council president Steve Brandau says the focus is all wrong.</p><p>&nbsp;&quot;It should be focused on education, public safety and especially job creation and that’s not any of the focus of this plan,&quot; says Brandau.</p><p>Mayor Swearengin says there has already been four years for public input and review and says it’s time to get the plan rolling.</p><p>City council is expected to vote on the general plan Thursday night.</p></div>

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