Residents speak out against proposed development of apartment complex in northwest Fresno

Local News

FRESNO, California. (KSEE) – About 200 northwest Fresno residents showed up to speak out against the construction of a proposed apartment complex Tuesday.

The building is slated for the area of Herndon and Prospect, but many neighbors are fighting plans.

“The city has broken promise after promise after promise,” said one community member.

City Manager Thomas Esqueda faced a packed room at Forkner Elementary and listened to concerns.

The project would be 82 units and four stories. Esqueda said the number of floors would be allowed as long as it did not exceed 50 feet.

Many residents asked for a traffic and environmental impact study before any work begins.

“There could be 328 residents for 154 parking spaces,” a woman brought up.

The proposed site was rezoned several years back, but some residents said they were not alerted or given a chance to give input.

“Back in 2015 when we did the general plan we had numerous meetings throughout the community,” Mike Sanchez the assistant director of development and resource management said.

Dozens of speakers raised several issues, including the increase in traffic, crime and vandalism the new housing could bring. Also, an influx of school-age children may change district lines, pushing some out of the desirable Forkner elementary boundaries.

“I went to Forkner, my son goes to Forkner, and what’s going to happen when there’s so many kids that come into that apartment building, because none of us have talked about the kids and what’s going to happen to them? Who’s going to have to be rezoned and is going to be able to go to Forkner?” a woman said.

Esqueda said he wanted to hear the public’s concerns, but the project is on private property and as long as the builder meets zoning requirements it will likely be approved. But once it gets the green light, Esqueda said anyone would have the option to appeal the decision, and several spoke out saying they’d also take legal action if it moves forward.

“Take it to the courts, never give up, and if you need to there are lots of other avenues that can stop this project,” said one man.

Right now the project is still under review. City officials could not say when they’d be making their recommendation.

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