Lee Brand's lofty task: turn City Hall dreams into reality

Ashley Swearengin’s plans raised expectations sky-high. Lee Brand is tasked with implementing the plans and meeting the expectations.

Southwest Fresno Specific Plan



The Skinny: West Fresno is historic Fresno. But it has struggled for decades. Construction of a modernized Highway 99 in the late 1950s-early 1960s through the heart of the community didn’t help things. The City Council on Dec. 1 will decide whether to approve this strategy to regain West Fresno’s old glory.

The Rundown: “The community and Steering Committee expressed a preference for a series of small, complete neighborhoods in the Southwest Fresno area. Each of the complete neighborhoods would contain a node made up of community-serving uses, including retail, a range of housing types, a school, and a park. Surrounding the nodes would be existing or new single-family residences, within a reasonable walking distance of ½-mile. The planning team along with the Steering Committee has reviewed existing neighborhoods and potential new neighborhoods to identify the best locations for these nodes. Where possible, they are located at the intersections of arterial streets for easy access and high visibility. In the case of existing neighborhoods, locations that could become stronger nodes if retail or park uses are incorporated have been identified. For potential new neighborhoods, the nodes would be sited at a location accessible to both nearby residents in the new neighborhood and visitors from outside the neighborhood.” (Source: Southwest Fresno Specific Plan, Draft Preferred Alternative)

The Pledge: “More than two thirds of our neighborhoods south of Herndon are either in poverty or extreme poverty. That happened over a long period of time and changing those conditions will take deliberate action and a strong partnership between the community, property owners, businesses and local government.” – Mayor Ashley Swearengin, May 13, 2015, when she announced her “Restore Fresno” initiative. (Source: City of Fresno)

1 comment
  1. The City of Fresno is the 5th largest City in the State of California and has an annual Budget of almost a billion dollars, with approximately 4,000 employees, and does NOT have an Internal Audit Unit to ensure the proper accounting, internal controls and safeguarding of all City Assets are in place and functioning as intended. As the retired Principal Internal Auditor for the City of Fresno, effective January 2016, this area should be of significance to the City and newly elected Mayor and all Council Members. All the top ten Cities in the State of California, except the City of Fresno, have an Internal Audit Unit. For the structure, benefits and type of Internal Audits performed by the Internal Audit Unit I oversaw while employed with the City, I reference all viewers of this comment to the City’s Administrative Order 1-10. I would hope that this significant area of concern and importance might be #11 on the Mayor’s Listing going forward. Thank You!

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