By Doug Richert
The Downtown Fresno Coalition (DFC) was formed to promote responsible revitalization of downtown Fresno. Focusing on preserving Fulton Mall, one of DFC’s most abiding concerns is to ensure Fulton Mall be preserved and properly appreciated as one of Fresno’s most distinctive landmarks. DFC is comprised of arts patrons, downtown community members, daily Mall users, Mall artists, and residents across Fresno who recognize the vast historic resource and unique asset Fulton Mall is for Fresno.
The Downtown Fresno Coalition is raising funds to appeal a recent ruling of the United States Federal Court, Eastern District of California, denying their request for relief on grounds that the City of Fresno’s plan to demolish the historic Fulton Mall and replace it with 20 feet of asphalt is contrary to the National Environmental Protection Act and laws governing the Department of Transportation. The Downtown Fresno Coalition was formed to promote responsible revitalization of downtown Fresno and for the past 14 years has supported restoration of the recognized historic resource that is Fresno’s Fulton Mall.
DFC spokesperson Doug Richert said, “From the beginning, as cities across America have been installing more pedestrian and park areas in their downtowns, Fresno’s mayor has been working to take us backward by refusing to consider how preservation and restoration of the Fulton Mall will contribute to revitalization of downtown, and wants only to deprive Fresno residents of a historic resource they can be proud of. We will continue our efforts to ensure that the city and contractors follow the law. Current and future residents of Fresno deserve it.”
Often legal challenges under federal environmental protection laws are highly complex and specialized. It is not uncommon for cases of this nature to require resolution by an appeal.
The DFC is also a party to an appeal in the State of California, Fifth District Court of Appeal, regarding the Fresno City Council’s decision to certify an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) supporting Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s plan for demolition of this historic resource that Fresno should be proud of. That case is pending before the court.
The DFC is affiliated with the local non-profit organization 1000 Friends of Fresno. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Fulton Mall legal defense fund by sending a check made out to 1000 Friends of Fresno to their office at 4781 E. Gettysburg, Fresno, California, 93726, with the notation Save the Mall. For online contributions, go to https://www. crowdrise.com/helpsavethefultonmall. You can also find the Downtown Fresno Coalition on Facebook to stay informed.
Doug Richert is the Co-Chair of the Downtown Fresno Coalition. He can be reached at downtownfc@sbcglobal. net, (559) 360-3844, email@example.com. Learn more at 1000FriendsofFresno.org, on Facebook at the Downtown Fresno Coalition, or on the YouTube Channel, SaveTheFultonMall.org.