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.

Citywide Development Code



The Skinny: City officials of the Swearengin era bemoaned the fact that Fresno hadn’t updated its citywide development code since the early 1960s. The city at that time was growing fast to the north. The implication was clear – lack of a strict code of do’s and don’t’s for developers explains in part the current plague of neighborhood inequities. Maybe, maybe not. One thing is certain – Swearengin believes the new Citywide Development Code, combined with hands-on help from city revitalization experts, will spur a rebirth of Fresno’s most troubled neighborhoods.

The Rundown: “No land shall be used, and no structure shall be constructed, occupied, enlarged, altered, demolished, or moved in any zoning district, except in accordance with the provisions of this Code. Specific uses of land, buildings, and structures listed as prohibited in any zoning district are hereby declared to be detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare. The enumeration of prohibited uses shall not by implication enlarge the scope of permitted uses; they are for purposes of clarity only. A proposed use within a zoning district must expressly be listed as a permitted use per the applicable base or overlay district, or determined to be such through the determination of the Director, in order to be authorized under the Development Code.” (Source: Citywide Development Code, draft for City Council, Nov. 9, 2015)

The Pledge: “This update was long overdue. We took an outdated, arcane document and made sensible changes that not only reinforce our new General Plan, but also allow properties to be developed in ways that enhance the quality of life in our community.” – Planning director Jennifer Clark, March 31, 2015, on the public release of the draft Citywide Development Code. (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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts