Tag: Clovis

Fresno councilors trying to kill infill general plan again

Developers aching for more sprawl versus everybody else. Sound familiar? It should, because in December of 2014, I published this post: Will Fresno council kill infill general plan? with that exact sentence.

Five years later, here we are again.

As a reminder, the 2035 General Plan Update (enacted in late 2014) directed Fresno to focus on infill development instead of continuous sprawl. Local developers were furious, and pulled every trick they could to block it. Fortunately, the council at the time did listen to the people of Fresno, who throughout the public process strongly preferred curtailing sprawl. Click to read more!

Madera Amtrak Station will relocate again

I have mentioned it in passing, but plans are underway (PDF) to relocate the Madera Amtrak station within the next three years. The title of this post says “again” because the station was moved to its current location in 2010.

Why do they want to move it? Because it has the lowest ridership of any station along the San Joaquin line, and the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority thinks the location is to blame. At least that’s the official reasoning. I propose my own theory at the end of this post.

Madera has a population of 65,000, which is higher than Hanford (56k), and Corcoran (22k). Those stations get more Amtrak ridership because the train stops downtown. Unfortunately for Madera, the rail line runs well to the east of the city. That is, it doesn’t matter where the station is located, it will never serve downtown. Click to read more!

January 2018 Old Town Clovis Construction Update

All the changes at FAX took my attention last month, but now I finally have time to post my latest update on the changes going on in Old Town Clovis!

Previous updates:

September 2017
February 2017
May 2016
July 2015
February 2015 

We start in the center, which is the area surrounding the new Centennial Plaza. Construction here is all done, and the new new buildings and plaza are looking good.

For reference, this is what the area looked like in 2011, according to Google Streetview:

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And after the plaza was built, but before the buildings went up:

Here’s what we have now:

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I like the sign.

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Everything looks good except this little service alley – way too exposed.

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Sidewalk is tight, but it wasn’t a big lot.

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I really like this indoor/outdoor dining area.

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Moving to the side of the building. The entrance to the dining area is via the plaza.

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And the back. They did a really good job here, as this side is just as attractive as the front.

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This is what the other new building looks like from the back. Not as nice.

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Reminds me of a motel.
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By comparison…

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Ok, moving to the second building, there is also retail on the first floor. Here is the entrance.

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Plaza to the right, Pollasky to the front

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It is part of the Me n Eds chain. This is the view from the street.

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Plaza in the center looks nice.

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On Pollasky, this is the front.

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This entrance is a disappointment. The stairs lead to an entrance to Blast and Brew…but a sign points you to the side. There is also a retailer up these steps.

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And from a little bit down the street.

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For reference, this is what was proposed, specifically the building on the right side of the plaza. The clock feature wasn’t built, the retail isn’t at street level, and windows were removed.

Final photos of this project:

 

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Overall a success, although I would declare the building on the left the winner.

It’s good added infill in “downtown” Clovis, and improves the street. Instead of a parking lot, there are two new buildings with retail on the ground, and a decent product above them.

Moving away, we see progress on the hotel being built on Clovis Avenue. This one is “special” because the parking will be underneath the building, something uncommon in the area where surface parking dominates. Construction has been really slow.

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It’s ok.

And finally, our last bit of Clovis infill. These new homes are unique because they front the Fresno-Clovis rail trail, instead of a street. I was excited to see what they’d do, but the end product is pretty disappointing.

Part of the project included building the same crap you see everywhere else, except the driveways front Sierra, which is rare for new development.

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Here is the alley where vehicles can access the new trail homes, on the right.

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The back of these homes looks like the front of most other places, except the fence is there to hide the backyard. It looks odd.

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I feel like they should have just fenced the entire back yard in.

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No idea if this parking is legal.

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And there we see the bike trail and an existing hotel.

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The trail is pretty popular.

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Looking back at the new homes, the front is a whole bunch of fencing too.

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It’s like a house with no front or back, just sides.

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Ok, fine, this is the front. But it sure is ugly. Windows too expensive these days?

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The other new one has nicer shielding.

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I understand they would want a fence to make it clear this is a private property and not part of the trail, but why does it look like a chicken coop?

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And then the fence for the homes that front Sierra.

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Boring boring boring

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Lots of bikes out though.

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So that’s it for Clovis infill!

Once that hotel is finished, I’m not aware of any “real” infill construction in the city coming up. And no, I don’t count a CVS being built on a strip mall parking lot as infill. That’s a little disappointing. The first project here is a big win, and the other two are better than the status quo. Shame nothing is in the pipeline. I guess my attention will shift back to Downtown Fresno, which had a couple of years of construction inactivity (aside from Fulton Mall), but is supposed to be picking up again.

Thoughts on proposed Clovis Trail Bridge

I was not able to attend the meeting last week, but I did get a hold of the presentation. As a reminder:

The City is interested in hearing from residents, business owners, special interest groups, and any other parties on the draft plan. The proposed project is intended to focus on the need, feasibility, and future development of a Class I trail/pedestrian bridge along the Enterprise Canal, extending south of Owens Mountain Parkway, and over State Route 168, which will serve to link the commercial, residential, Clovis Community Medical Center Complex, and business campuses in the immediate area.

Before we look at the details, something important to note: Don’t expect this any time soon.

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Most likely, they will apply for funding under the Active Transportation Program.

The Cycle 4 Call for Projects is expected to include about $440M in ATP funding made up of Federal funding and State SB1 and SHA funding.  The funding/programming years are expected to include 19/20, 20/21, 21/22 and 22/23 funding years. Click to read more!

Clovis: Public Meeting on Proposed Trail Bridge 1/24/2018

A bit late notice, but looks like Clovis is finally moving forward with plans on connecting the trails near Clovis Community Hospital, which are separated by CA-168.

Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Miss Winkles Pet Adoption Center
85 N Temperance Ave, Clovis, CA 93611

Notice:
http://www.ci.clovis.ca.us/Portals/0/Documents/Planning/Public%20Workshop%20Announcement.pdf?ver=2018-01-12-164853-177

The City is interested in hearing from residents, business owners, special interest groups, and any
other parties on the draft plan. The proposed project is intended to focus on the need, feasibility,
and future development of a Class I trail/pedestrian bridge along the Enterprise Canal, extending
south of Owens Mountain Parkway, and over State Route 168, which will serve to link the
commercial, residential, Clovis Community Medical Center Complex, and business campuses in
the immediate area. Click to read more!

New Google satellite imagery for Fresno! (Fall 2017)

Posting updates about Google Maps satellite imagery in the Fresno region used to be a frequent topic on this blog. Thanks to the lack of clouds for half the year, Fresno was lucky in that new images were posted about twice a year, compared to some more populated area that only got an update every other year – or even less frequently. Basically, to provide the images, a satellite has to take hundreds of pictures, and then they are all blended together automatically to reveal a seamless image without clouds in the way. Since Fresno has so many clear days, it’s much easier to get the shots.=&0=&(it takes them a couple of months to process and update – that’s normal). There was also an update taken on =&1=&, which I noticed around July, but never got around to posting about.=&2=&

Clovis Infill – A Photo Update

It feels a little odd talking about infill in Clovis. It doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, as the city is known for its endless subdivisions. And yet in 2017, Old Town Clovis appears to have almost as much infill construction as Downtown Fresno going on.

I reported on two of these projects in July 2015, but I’ve added a few other ones here.

  • Centennial Plaza
  • La Quinta Inn
  • Rail-Trail Housing
  • New Library
  • Sierra Meadows Park
  • Clovis Community Hospital

Centennial Plaza

Let’s start with the big one: Centennial Plaza. This is the heart of Old Town on Pollasky, and I last took a look in May 2016 when the new plaza was finished. That update was focused on the street improvements, but now new buildings are rising up to frame the plaza.

Only 3 stories tall, the new building does make an impression in a downtown where a second story is a novelty.

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No basement here

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Close to the street

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Construction has also started on the building framing the other side of the plaza

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La Quinta Inn

A wee bit south, we find construction has finally started on La Quinta Inn. I reported on this one in May of 2015. Aside from building on a vacant lot, what makes this development interesting is that the hotel will be built over parking. This signals that demand for development in Old Town has increased to the point where large surface parking lots no longer make economic sense.

It’s a start.

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Rail-Trail Housing

In that same post from July of 2015, I talked about an approved plan to build new homes on an oddly shaped lot at Sierra and Clovis. What made the plan unique was that two of the homes would front the regional bicycle trail.

Construction has begun:

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The existing homes are very modest

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The alley will allow for rear driving access

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The existing homes are getting carports added

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Construction 

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 View from the trail

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New Library

The existing Clovis library is a disgrace. It’s about twenty years overdue for a replacement, and fortunately, one is coming soon.

Here we see the completed Old Town trail, looking towards the new library complex

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Nothing has started yet, but it is expected soon.

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The new complex will be behind this existing resting point

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As an aside, that little station has a trail map which is actually updated every year

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Looking north, the property is still on the right

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It will link to Clovis Avenue

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Here is the exterior of the existing library, which will be retained as another government building

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Odd?

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I stopped by on a day they were closed. Whoops. However, you can see how narrow the building is…

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Sierra Meadows Park

Moving to the more suburban areas, we have Sierra Meadows Park. This is quite possibly the slowest park project in California. It appears that every year they add one little feature. Over the past five years, they’ve added benches, some lighting, and bags for dog waste. 2017 is supposed to see the arrival of restrooms.

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This might be where the new restrooms are going

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Someone posted an overhead video on Youtube taken from a drone. It does an excellent job of showing that 90% of the park is still just empty space. The plan includes adding a lake, auditorium, playground etc. Maybe by 2030?

Clovis Community Hospital 

This hospital doesn’t stop growing. Admittedly, the one type of development I rarely follow is that related to hospital construction. While they’re open to the public, they’re not quite public spaces. They’re also very insular.

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However I stopped by to see if any work has been done on connecting the regional bicycle trail network. Green shows what exists, red what is proposed.

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The Clovis Trail maps show the proposal

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I did find some trail, which appears to have been built in the past two years. Not the connector though.

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Walking to 168 to see where the tunnel would go

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And I think that’s it for Clovis. The infill anyway. Like always, there are 500+ homes tract under construction at the city edge.

Google Maps Launches Areas of Interest – How Accurate is it in Fresno?

A week or so ago, Google refreshed their maps service. Most of the changes were minor – new road outlines, a different typography, and a few other minor tweaks designed to make the maps easier to understand. However, as part of that update, they introduced what could be a major new feature: areas of interest. =&0=&: Montpelier, the capital of Vermont. With only 7,855 people, it is the smallest capital in the country. At a glance, the areas of interest seem to work quite well. The new shading does draw you in quickly.=&1=&

A quick look at Clovis’s new Centennial Plaza

Tomorrow Old Town Clovis hosts their first ever parklet festival. When posting that reminder, I realized I never upload photos of the new Centennial Plaza and streetscape development. I talked about it back in July of 2015, and I visited the area a few months ago, but never actually posted them!

If you visit the parklet exhibitions, you will surely see the new plaza. The city planners will also be using the festival as an opportunity to celebrate the groundbreaking of two new buildings what will ride on vacant lots on either side of the plaza.

So let’s take a quick look. As you can clearly see, these photos were taken in January, but aside from more greenery and less holiday decorations, the area looks the same today.

The plaza is located at Bullard and Pollasky. The project area included the intersection, the plaza, the surface parking lot (existing, it was re-organized), and the mini-section of Bullard west of Clovis Avenue.  You can clearly see the two empty lots set for development.

Looking at the plaza from the street parking on Bullard.

The new lights have outlets, probably to accommodate the numerous events held in Old Town. 

 Looking at the new streetscape improvements. Extended sidewalks for pedestrians, textured crosswalks, and low curbs. Lots of new lights as well.


The tree has leaves now. I am not sure if the bollards can be or should be removed when the street is closed to cars for special events. Note the lights have two heads – critical redundancy for crosswalks.

Plenty of new signs.

Good ADA compliance.

One of the new buildings will go here. 

And the other will go here. 

Seen from one side…  

 And seen from the other side.

Center tree in the new plaza.

Some seating, but could use more shade.

More seating. We’re looking from Pollasky over to Clovis Avenue.

The parking lot in the center of the block was redone to create a better walkway, and add new lighting. Once the new buildings go up, it will be hidden.

The parking lot is accessed from Clovis. This used to be a random and ugly dead-end street. It has since been formalized as a more attractive entrance to the surface lot.


  This is Clovis Avenue. A new pedestrian walkway leads here. Clovis Avenue needs work.

Too many lanes on Clovis Avenue

While the streetscape improvements did involve new curb cuts on Clovis, they didn’t impact safety on Clovis proper. Still lots of work to do.

  This section of Clovis was done on a different project.

And that’s it!

Reminder: Clovis Parklet Festival is This Weekend!

This is a reminder that on May 14 and May 15, Old Town Clovis will be hosting a “taking it to the streets” event, where a variety of parklets are presented to the public. Parklets are mini parks installed on a street parking space to add greenery, seating, art or other amenities to downtown areas. The event is intended to build teamwork, showcase art, and provide a proof of concept to area businesses of what a permanent installation could look like.

This is what the website says:

The Old Town streets have always been a place where people gather to enjoy local life and festivities.  Streets increasingly play important ecological roles in the city, with strategies that serve to magnify the space as a livable and living, place.  Many highly beneficial social outcomes, including economic growth, increased health, and improvements in air quality are linked to well-designed streets that enable active social and ecologic life.  “Taking it to the streets” seeks to elaborate on the street’s role as an agent of social life.

Click to read more!