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Despite City’s Poor Process, Community Wins Key Victories in General Plan

By Building Healthy Communities

Fresno Building Healthy Communities’ leaders are utterly disappointed that the City of Fresno disregarded the community’s request for more time to understand the City of Fresno General Plan. At its Dec. 18 meeting, the Fresno City Council voted and approved the plan with a 5-2 vote.

“Due to the hard work of more than 1,000 residents who are part of Fresno Building Healthy Communities, the General Plan includes provisions for the community that will improve the health of our south Fresno neighborhoods,” said Sandra Celedon-Castro, Fresno Building Healthy Communities hub manager. “The process over the last week leading up to the vote has short-changed public participation. Thirty more days to understand the plan would have benefitted the community and Council members who seemed to be confused at the dais.”

The City of Fresno General Plan—a blueprint of how the city of Fresno will grow and where investment will go in the next 20 years—includes significant provisions that Fresno Building Healthy Communities partners and residents requested and will improve neighborhoods in south Fresno. Some of these provisions are as follows:

• Investing in established neighborhoods in the heart of our city and in south Fresno by directing resources—like more lights to increase safety and installing curbs and gutters for kids to walk to school safely—to areas that need them the most.

• Updating the Parks Master Plan with community partners to create better and cleaner parks with more services and making it a priority to build new parks in areas that need them the most, such as south and west Fresno.

• Rezoning some heavy industrial areas in southwest Fresno and building housing, office space and desirable businesses.

• Working with residents to determine what type of businesses can become their neighbors via a community program to address the compatibility of industrial and heavy commercial uses in established south and west Fresno neighborhoods.

“We’re excited to take this news to our resident leaders in the coming days, but we know our job isn’t done,” added Castro. “We look forward to working with the mayor and the city to make sure that these proposals in the General Plan are implemented and that the community is a partner throughout the entire process, from start to finish.”

Since 2010, Fresno Building Healthy Communities has worked with more than 1,000 community residents and has hosted more than 50 multicultural meetings around the General Plan. Fresno Building Healthy Communities and partners have attended more than 40 meetings with the City and were a key partner in 2012, when a vision of the General Plan—Alternative A—was adopted to focus investment in existing neighborhoods in central, southeast and southwest Fresno.

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For more information, contact Augie Blancas, Fresno Building Healthy Communities communications specialist, at 559-473-6897 or ablancas@fresnobhc.org.

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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[…] of a false process. People involved in efforts to close the Darling rendering plant, pass a decent General Plan or to save the Fulton Mall know the ritual all too well—a façade of public meetings behind which […]

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