Today, the San Joaquin River Conservancy Board took an important step for the Fresno River West Lewis S. Eaton Trail Extension Project.
The Conservancy Board came together and chose to move forward with pursuing the Alternative 1 public access point located at Riverview Drive and Del Mar.
You may recall that the Conservancy Board approved the Eaton Trail Extension Project in December 2017. At that time, the Conservancy selected the proposed project with the addition of an access location at Palm and Nees known as Alternative 5b. Because there was concern about the true viability of the 5b access point, the Conservancy Board included the following language in the resolution approving the project:
"With the understanding that all parties shall be acting in good faith, if, in the Board's sole discretion, reasonable progress is note made toward implementing Alternative 5b within one year of this approval, the Board by majority vote may direct staff to evaluate and prepare Alternative 1 as analyzed in the Final EIR for Board approval, and to rescind approval of Alternative 5b."
to review the December 2017 resolution.
The resolution from December 2017 goes on to list the benchmarks that had to be met in order to prove the viability of 5b.
Today, after several hours of testimony and Board discussion, it was determined that not all of the required benchmarks for Alternative 5b had been met.
Several motions for how to move forward were made and subsequently voted down. Finally, the Board voted to fulfill what was laid out in the December 2017 resolution and move forward with approving Alternative 1.
We are unsure if this item will come back to the Conservancy Board in February or March of this year. We will continue to provide updates as we have information.
We are grateful to all the people who have spent time and effort on this process including the San Joaquin River Conservancy Board and Staff, the San Joaquin River Access Corporation, the City of Fresno, and all the members of the public who testified during the last three years.