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Boom Town, U.S.A.: Clovis Council Vote Adds 1,000 Home Lots



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Clovis — with an estimated population today of 109,000 — is in a building boom that will make it a city of more than 175,000 residents by 2035, according to the city’s water planning documents.
Evidence of this rapid growth plan can be seen all over Clovis, which has promoted itself as the “Gateway to the Sierras” since its incorporation in 1912.
Between 1990 and 2012, the city doubled its population from 49,000 to 98,000.  And right now, all along the southeastern part of the city, which is known as Loma Vista, neighborhoods are rapidly popping up.

For the past two years, developers have pulled more permits to build single-family homes in Clovis than in Fresno.
For example, the orange grove at Ashlan and Highland avenues will soon see 204 new Wilson Homes.
An empty lot at Bullard and Leonard avenues is where Granville Homes plans to develop 229 new residences.
(Disclosure: Granville is the corporate owner of GV Wire.)
The Clovis City Council approved both of those projects — and two others — last week in a marathon session.
Some residents, like Ryan Woods, expressed concern at the meeting. He wanted the city to ensure the privacy of existing homes and to protect water rights. Woods also would like more Clovis parks.
The city council listened to Woods’ comments, as well as the concerns of other residents. Developers then agreed to certain conditions that put some residents’ minds at ease. But after hours of testimony Jan. 16, the council approved four different projects that added 1,000 lots to the city.
The restrictions included improving drainage requirements, aligning roads so that headlights won’t shine directly into homes, and restricting two-story homes along the perimeters of the new developments.

In addition to the Wilson and Granville projects, the council approved 58 De Young Property homes on the west side of Locan Avenue between Teague and Nees avenues. The council also voted to annex 117 acres along Ashlan (between Leonard and Thompson avenues) that includes 602 home lots.
“We can’t afford to be a bedroom community. We have to have a jobs-housing balance of 1-to-1. That is a healthy balance in our community,” said Dwight Kroll, Director of Planning and Development Services, for Clovis. “Having retail follow rooftops is always good. Retail is tax generation.”

Growth Will Require More Water and Schools

All of these new homes will need water. Clovis is in negotiations with the Fresno Irrigation District about increasing the amount of water it receives now and well into the future.
“We are extracting some. We are also reinserting water into the groundwater table to balance that out,” Kroll said. “All new development basically is being served by surface water by the Fresno Irrigation District. Basically, it is Kings River water.”
In addition, the city’s water plans must pass muster with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in September of 2014. The law requires groundwater-dependent regions such as ours to halt overdraft and bring basins into balanced levels of pumping and recharge.
The city also has plans for new schools and is working with Clovis Unified School District to meet the educational needs of incoming families.
For the past two years, developers have pulled more permits to build single-family homes in Clovis than in Fresno. In 2017, developers pulled 758 permits from Clovis and 680 from Fresno. Both numbers are down from 2016: 1,077 in Clovis and 925 in Fresno.
Keep in mind: Fresno has five times the population.
“Our philosophy is that it is a partnership. We develop the plans. We provide the basis of development in our community. We are responding to a city council that responds to the general community here in Clovis,” Kroll said.

This new home near Leonard and Shaw avenues is one of many being built in Clovis. (GV Wire photo/David Taub)

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email