REEDLEY – City council cleared the way for development of a multi-family apartment complex on a long-empty piece of land just south of Lincoln Elementary School.
On July 25, the Reedley City Council approved a general plan amendment, an environmental assessment report, the first reading of a rezoning ordinance and a conditional use permit in a 4-0 vote, with Mayor Anita Betancourt absent. The council’s action will allow developers to move forward with planning a two-story, eight-unit apartment complex.
“I’m excited to see the bigger units being developed,” Councilmember Mary Fast said. “I looked at that spot and (thought) ‘how are you getting all those places?’ Then I saw it’s two-story. I’m thrilled to see that.”
The proposed complex will be located at 261 E. North Ave. on the southwest corner of North Avenue and B Street. Community Development Director Rodney Horton told city council that the complex will be a planned unit development with each apartment featuring three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and the lot will have 17 parking spaces.
Yanez Construction, the Reedley-based developer behind the complex, said the apartments will be priced at market-rate and will each be approximately 1,200 square feet.
The general plan amendment changed the designation of the lot, which is made up of three contiguous parcels that will be merged at a later date, from low density residential to high density residential in order to allow for the eight units.
On the placement of the eight units, Councilmember Fast and Matthew Tuttle, mayor pro tempore, said they are worried about street access to the lot conflicting with Lincoln Elementary traffic.
“That’s kind of a concern of mine, when kids are coming and going and we have buses and who knows what else coming out of the school, it’s kind of a congested area,” Fast said.
The lot is slightly back and offset from Lincoln Elementary’s position across North Avenue, but Tuttle said that with possible increased street parking near the complex, that aspect of development is something the builders should take into consideration.
City council members said they were excited to see developments like this coming to Reedley that create more housing options while retaining ample square footage and parking space.
“As far as I can remember that little area has been empty … and so any kind of development, especially more housing, is good,” Tuttle said.
According to an addendum to the environmental impact report for the project, the reclassification of land use in the general plan also required the city to rezone the land for consistency. Council also approved the first reading of a rezoning ordinance at the meeting to change the land’s designation from RM-3 multi-unit residential to RM-2 multi-unit residential.
“Under RM-2 zone district designation, applicant is allowed to develop more dwelling units on the site,” Horton said. “If the rezone application was to be denied by the city council, the applicant would be limited to six dwelling units on that particular site with that zone district designation.”
Horton said that the reclassification in the general plan will also benefit the draft 2023-2031 Fresno County Multi-Jurisdictional Housing Element by adding more available units that contribute to the city’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation number.
“These parcels were added to the vacant land with a max potential for five dwelling units being constructed,” a city staff report said. “This project will add an additional three units that were not accounted for in the draft Housing Element, in either the moderate or above moderate income categories, depending on what is being assessed for tenant rent.”