Fresno City Hall is taking another key step in the city’s unstoppable expansion to the east and southeast.
This time it’s the Fire Department and Station 10 taking the lead.
The 2018-19 city budget noted that $365,000 in Urban Growth Management funds would be set aside “for the acquisition of land for the future relocation of Station 10. The land acquisition ensures that FFD owns property in the area prior to the development of the area.”
Station 10 currently is located at 5545 Aircorp Way, just a bit southeast of Airways golf course and just a bit north of Fresno Yosemite International Airport. According to FFD’s Website, Station 10 was built in 1983. It has a truck company and its duties include supporting the Airport Rescue Fire Fighting station.
However, I didn’t find in the 2018-19 budget a specific site for the new Station 10 or a sense of when things would get moving.
Documents at the City Clerk’s Office are clearing things up. A “notice of environmental finding” says the city wants to buy 67,200 square feet of land (about 1.5 acres) south of the southwest corner of East Clinton and North Armstrong avenues. That’s about two miles east of Airways.
The environmental finding says: “Upon obtaining the requisite approvals and permits, the subject site, currently served by existing utility and roadway infrastructure, would be developed with a new 11,000-square-foot (35-foot maximum height) single story Fire Station No. 10…. The project would include native, drought tolerant landscaping and a new curb, gutter and sidewalk along the frontage of the proposed Fire Station No. 10. The parcel may be held by the City or deemed surplus property and sold. No development plans have been proposed at this time.”
Anyone interested in the Station 10 environmental finding has until 5 p.m. Monday to make written comments to the Development and Resource Management Department at City Hall. According to the city document, DARM has found “no substantial evidence in the record that this project may have additional significant, direct, indirect or cumulative effects on the environment” that have not already been thoroughly studied.
I take this to mean SEGA is beating WEGA.
SEGA, of course, is the Southeast Growth Area, the proposed 9,000-acre master planned development that stretches, crescent-shaped, from south of the City of Clovis to the Clovis Avenue/North Avenue area. SEGA has long been on the books. It’s been controversial for just as long. There’s no massive development in SEGA – yet.
WEGA, of course, is the West Growth Area, encompassing the area west of Highway 99 and north of, say, Roeding Park. There’s considerable development in WEGA. It’s been anything but master-planned.
As the city document notes, the Station 10 relocation project may not come off as planned. But City Hall clearly is playing it smart by buying a preferred site ahead of time.
The Clinton/Armstrong area, possible new home to Station 10, is located a short distance to the west of SEGA. Not far away to the south, near the corner of Floradora Avenue and Armstrong, is the new Southeast Surface Water Treatment Facility. Not far to the southwest of the treatment plant, is the Fancher Creek mixed-use development, soon to be home to a new Southeast Policing Substation. Highway 180 runs through the area, providing a speedy connection to wider regions.
SEGA may not be blooming with houses and retailers and schools just yet, but developers continue to eye the area. I’ve already written for CVObserver about Woodside Homes’ plans to build a 78-acre project on Fowler Avenue between Clinton and McKinley Avenue once the site gets annexed into the city. The developer plans to build more than 200 single-family homes. This site isn’t part of SEGA. But it’s close.
At this point, a new Station 10 near Clinton and Armstrong would be easternmost station in the Fresno Fire Department. A station at this site would still be close to the airport. Such a station would also be well placed to serve the developable areas to the north, east and west.
Meanwhile, the area west of Highway 99 is trying to figure out how to get Veterans Boulevard built and the Shaw Avenue/99 bottleneck fixed. Council Member Steve Brandau is trying hard, but without success so far, to get a new permanent home for Fire Station No. 18.
I’m constantly being told that the area west of 99 is Priority Growth Area No. 1 at City Hall. But all the infrastructure action keeps happening in Southeast.
Why? Because that’s where the development action is happening. Sooner or later it’s gonna move further south. West of 99? That was envisioned to be the cheap house area, where first-time buyers would get into the housing market, buy a cheap house, stay in it for five years and then sell it off to move to a better house in a better neighborhood.