Last Wednesday, the San Joaquin River Conservancy Board voted to direct staff to bring back the required findings under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that would allow them to choose Alternative 1 for access to the site.
This was a major triumph for all of us that want a faster process to a final project.
It also means that Spano Park, the river bluff, and the gorgeous Sycamores growing on the slope are at least temporarily safe.
In the days following the meeting, you may have been confused by some of the media coverage that suggested this decision will cause additional project delays. Delays mentioned in the media are related to the threats of litigation from the neighborhood group that formed an organization to promote Alternative 5b. We believe these delays are but a blip on the geologic time scale when compared to the infinite delay of a road down a steep bluff that will actually never be built.
At the meeting Mayor Brand and many other commenters suggested that Alternative 1 was inconsistent with the City's General Plan. We disagree with this is assertion and would direct anyone with questions about this issue to the General Plan EIR response to comments, where the City acknowledged the public's right to access public roads, and the Conservancy's right to determine appropriate access to Conservancy property.
If you would like to read the documents yourself you can
click this link
and review pages 313-315; 255-260, and 339-340. Please note that although the General Plan and City staff insist upon referring to the "private access easement" at the end of Riverview Drive, the roadway referenced is owned in fee by the State of California.
In other words, Riverview Drive is a public road that leads directly to public land.
In other relevant news, this evening the City of Fresno Planning Commission will be considering a request for a General Plan Amendment that would change 14 acres identified as Open Space for a Regional Park to a Residential Subdivision.
We are encouraging the City of Fresno, currently 94 out of 100 in Park Space according to the Parkscore Report, to maintain this site as park space. The site is located on the San Joaquin River downstream of Riverside Golf Course. You can view the planning documents for this project on the City's website by
clicking this link
We'll keep you updated as plans for this project progress.
Thank you to all of you that came forward and provided comments at the meeting last week. This triumph belongs to you!