Planning commission rejects proposed apartment buildings for northwest Fresno

The 82-unit complex would have had buildings three and four stories tall.

Widespread neighborhood opposition on hand, the Fresno Planning Commission shot down an apartment complex that was planned for northwest Fresno on a 5-0 vote. 

The project would have built 82 apartment units on the northeast corner of W. Herndon Ave. and N. Prospect Ave. 


The big picture: Fresno’s planning commissioners voted against the project because they said the project – which would have been three and four stories tall – does not comply with the general plan. 

  • That’s despite the fact that it met all zoning requirements and was recommended for approval by city staff. 
  • Land Value Management, owned by local developer James Huelskamp, had planned to build 82 two-bedroom, two-bathroom units. 

Neighborhood opposition: The meeting ran a couple hours long on Wednesday with a large number of people writing in and speaking out against the project. 

  • One neighbor wrote to the city that the apartments would “stick out like a sore thumb” and would create nightmarish traffic. 
  • “Not only will this bring the local housing prices down, but it will bring in people who are not as wealthy as those in the area, and may cause some of those to misappropriate things from others as they think that they can afford to have things taken from them,” the resident wrote. “More traffic will also bring more opportunity for theft in the area.” 

The other side: Architect Scott Vincent represented Land Value Management to the Planning Commission, pushing back against the neighbors. 

  • “There’s a lot of fear factor when you talk about apartments, and unfortunately most of those fears are inaccurate,” Vincent said. “Crime does not necessarily go up if the project is well maintained and well managed, and that’s what we expect here. We’re coming into a prime area and expecting prime rents. We’re not going to let people come in and ruin that value.” 

What we’re watching: One day later, during the city’s budget presentation, Councilman Miguel Arias feared that the city would lose a lawsuit if Land Value Management sued. 

  • “As we’re trying to fund infill development, we have a planning commission that’s denying infill development,” Arias said. 
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