Costco’s move to northwest Fresno appears to be moving full steam ahead with little concern from the public.
The Fresno Planning and Development Department held a public scoping meeting over Zoom on Tuesday evening to receive public feedback regarding concerns about the project’s environmental impact.
If Costco ultimately receives approval from the city, the wholesale retailer will close down its location on W. Shaw Ave. and move to the northeast corner of Herndon Ave. and Riverside Dr., just south of Riverside Golf Course.
The new location would include a 178,000 square-foot retail warehouse building, a 32-pump gas station, and a car wash, along with the needed parking lots, driveways and other supporting infrastructure.
The project also proposes a General Plan amendment to reclassify the adjacent portion of W. Herndon Ave. from expressway to super arterial, which would allow the construction of an intersection where the street meets the Arthur Ave. right-of-way.
Despite the size of the project, very few community members chimed in with their thoughts to the city about potential environmental impacts caused by a new Costco location.
While the final environmental impact report will not be released until late fall of 2022, only four residents addressed the Planning and Development Department on Tuesday.
Their concern largely stemmed around the expected traffic increase to the area because of the new store.
However, Mike Parker – a consultant for the city – noted that traffic congestion was removed from consideration under the California Environmental Equality Act.
But he added that traffic safety and vehicle miles traveled will still be included in the environmental impact report.
Local residents also expressed their concerns about the lighting and the many idling cars that will be near the golf course and the surrounding areas.
One person also expressed his concern that there is not any green space being developed along with the project and that the access to the San Joaquin River would be affected.