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Clovis on the Housing Hook? Millions at Stake.



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Clovis Housing At Odds with State?

The Clovis council hears a report tonight (March 12) about how the city is complying with state housing mandates. The short answer: they are not. And, it could cost them more than $2 million in state funding.

Politics 101
David Taub
The city is short 4,425 housing units. To make up the deficit, the city needs 177 acres of housing zoned as Very-High Density (25-43 units per acre) within city limits.
“The current Housing Element was adopted by City Council in April of 2016. In this housing element, Clovis committed to a rezone program for the unaccommodated 4,425 units to be completed no later than December 31, 2016. That deadline was not met,” reads the staff report.
The numbers reflect state mandates that covered the 2007-2012 period. As a result, Clovis must submit progress reports for 2016 and 2017 to the state.
Some of the consequences the report lists: the state could deem Clovis’ general plan out of compliance. The city could be leaving itself exposed to legal challenges for approving housing projects. Also, the city could become ineligible for $2.7 million in state housing funds.
“The City is working on creative solutions to meet the state requirements on the state’s housing mandate,” Andy Haussler, the city’s Community and Economic Development Director said.
The report does have a silver lining. Seven projects are in various stages of the building process. The land south of Sierra Vista Mall is one of the projects where apartment complexes are currently under construction.

Help Coming for Clovis Fire


Clovis Fire Chief John Binaski (photo: City of Clovis).
Clovis Fire Chief John Binaski delivers his yearly report to city council tonight (March 12). He admits that service has been slower as of late, but says the city’s growth stretches his department’s resources.
“We’ve had significant growth. We now need to have the public safety behind it. We are playing catch-up,” Binaski said.
Average First Unit arrival times for EMS were 7:17. The goal is 6:30. The First Unit arrival times for MVA/Rescue were 7:24, 24 seconds off the mark.
“Our times have diminished, with the growth,” Binaski explained. He says fixing the southeast area of the city will improve performance.
“It is like a pendulum. It gets worse, then it gets better.”
Help is coming, with the planning of Fire Station 6 on the south side of Shaw Avenue, between Leonard & DeWolf.
The city council is scheduled to vote on purchasing the 2.96 acres tonight, for a price of $845,000 from a group of property owners. The city then plans to build a new fire station and other government buildings (examples listed include a post office and library).
Binaski said he would also like to see gradual improvements for the remaining fire stations in Clovis.

Chamber Gov Committee to Hear Small Business Bill

Fresno Councilman Luis Chavez has an idea to create more jobs and businesses in his district along the Kings Canyon/Ventura corridor.
He will present his Support Small Business Act for the Fresno Chamber Government Affairs Council to hear. It takes place at their monthly meeting Wednesday (March 14) at their office.
“This is will be an engine driver for jobs,” Chavez tells GV Wire.
Laying out the details, Chavez says this will like the incentive package the city offered to Amazon, but at a smaller scale. He wants businesses to move into either empty plots of land or vacant storefrotns.
If an entrepreneur does so, the city will offer reimbursements on impact fees, infrastructure fees, taxes and licenses. The amount of incentives is proportional to job creation.
Chavez expects council to hear his proposal on March 22 or April 5.

Trump Trip

No rumors, innuendo or “I heard a guy” here. This is what the White House has officially released about President Trump’s California trip:
Tuesday, March 13 (all times Pacific):
11:30 a.m., arrive at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
2 p.m., remarks at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
3:30 p.m., arrive at Los Angeles International Airport
Wednesday, March 14:
12:25 p.m., arrive at Lambert International Airport just outside St. Louis

Who’s Running

For a Fresno city/county list, click here.
An official list of candidates for state and federal offices will be released by March 29.
(L to R: T.J. Cox via Twitter, Elizabeth Heng via Twitter, Justin Mendes via City of Hanford)
Last week, Valley businessman T.J. Cox announced a challenge to incumbent Republican David Valadao for the U.S. Congress in the 21st District (centered in Hanford).
Elizabeth Heng, a one-time congressional staffer in Washington, filed to run against Jim Costa in the 16th district. Heng is a Republican; incumbent Costa is a Democrat. In 2014, The Hill named Heng one of Washington’s 50 Most Beautiful People.
Hanford Councilman Justin Mendes said he will run for Assembly against Democratic incumbent Rudy Salas in the 32nd district that covers all of Kings County as well as Bakersfield.

Fresno District 7 Candidates Debate

The Black Action PAC held the second in their series of forums speaking with city council hopefuls. Last week (March 9), the three District 7 hopefuls: Nelson Esparza, Veva Islas and Brian Whelan shared their views.
The three candidates answered questions on the potential of ICE raids, developing the economy, and environmental concerns.

Bauman Pays a Visit

State Democratic Party chairman Eric Bauman visited Fresno Friday night, for the Women in Action dinner.

Bauman also tweeted that he stopped at Chabad Fresno for Friday Shabbat services. That is news to Rabbi Levy Zirkind, who doesn’t recall seeing him. According to a party spokesman, Bauman missed his religious enrichment because of traffic on Highway 99, but did make the dinner. No word if he had the kosher meal.

Nunes Profile

An excellent read: a long-form profile of Devin Nunes by Jim Geraghty of National Review. It details his inauspicious start in politics, his rise in the GOP ranks, and the reality vs. fantasy now that he is in the national spotlight.

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