This Week at City Hall - Momentum For Downtown Investment
08/27/2012
Fee Waiver Keeps Momentum Going to Downtown Investment, Development
 
Downtown Fresno development efforts received a boost when Fresno City Council last week approved a $700,000 fee waiver program aimed at keeping the momentum going on new downtown housing.
 
The Council's approval will allow qualifying downtown housing projects to receive assistance of between $2,700 and $4,800 per unit that would otherwise be due in the form of "impact fees" for parks and other City amenities.
 
The funding is provided by the Transit-Oriented Development program of Fresno County Measure C.  Funding is available to housing projects on a first-come, first-served basis.



For more information about the fee waiver program, please contact Elliott Balch, City of Fresno Downtown Revitalization Manager, at Elliott.Balch@fresno.gov.  
 
The new program is just the latest piece of exciting news related to downtown Fresno.  Here are some of the other downtown-related issues that have moved forward in the past few months:
  • Specific Plan and Form-Based Code.   Environmental studies necessary for adoption are underway now. We're aiming for adoption in about a year.
  • Fulton Mall. The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Fresno $1 million for preconstruction engineering work. That's in addition to a $2.4 million U.S. DOT award to improve connectivity at the Mariposa and Van Ness intersection.
  • High-Speed Rail. Interviews and selection of a consultant to prepare the HSR Station Area Master Plan will be happening next month.
  • PBID. The Downtown Fresno Partnership is firing on all cylinders, with new events, a fully deployed Ambassador corps, and even more capacity on the way soon. And did we mention the ice rink?
  • Public market. The City is working with The California Endowment and Wells Fargo to provide local stakeholders a tour next month of innovative food programs in the Bay Area, all of which could inform the market project.
     


Fresno First Steps Home Raises More than $226,000
 
The Fresno First Steps Home initiative recently raised $226,700 to support efforts to address homelessness in our community.  The recent donations brings the total raised in the initiative to more than $820,000.
 
Fresno First Steps Home is a comprehensive, community-wide initiative to address homelessness that coordinates a “housing-first” model that is aimed at connecting participants with an umbrella of services, including substance abuse and mental-health programs, healthcare, benefits acquisition and medical treatment.
 
Mayor Swearengin has set a goal of raising $1 million a year in private donations for Fresno First Steps Home.  She has asked each City resident to take the “buck-a-month” pledge to donate $1 per month to the effort.
 
To make a donation or receive more information on the initiative, please visit www.FresnoFirstStepsHome.org.

Participants sought for Fresno Citizens Academy
 
Participants are now being sought for the upcoming session of the Mayor’s Fresno Citizens Academy, an initiative that allows Fresno residents to learn more about their government by hearing directly from top policymakers and decision makers at City Hall.   

The next session of the free, eight-week program begins at City Hall on Monday, Sept. 17, and ends on Monday, Nov. 5.  Sessions will be held each Monday from 6-8 p.m. 
 
Over the course of the program, participants will hear about a wide range of topics, such as how the annual budget is developed, how public safety resources are deployed, and what the City does to promote and support the local economy. 
 
Mayor Ashley Swearengin, City Manager Mark Scott and all department heads provide presentations at the Academy.  The sessions also include a presentation by the Fresno Historical Society on the history of the city as well as information about boards, commissions and civic engagement.
 
To apply for the program, please visit the City’s website at www.fresno.gov/FCA.
 
Mayor Swearengin’s Activities
 
While some of these activities outlined below are not public meetings, these are some of the issues being addressed this week by Mayor Swearengin:
  • Participating in the grand opening of the Sea Lion Cove exhibit at Fresno’s Chaffee Zoo;
  • Participating in a roundtable discussion with an official from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
  • Meeting with members of the Downtown Fresno Partnership’s Downtown Ambassadors Program;
  • Visiting an education event conducted by Learn2Earn, our adult education initiative;
  • Participating in a tour to learn from Walmart officials about how rooftop solar panels are being used;
  • Conducting internal meetings on implementation of the 2035 General Plan and the high-speed rail project.
This Week’s Events
  • Historic Preservation Commission, City Hall Room 2165, Monday, Aug. 27, 5:30 p.m.
  • City Council meeting, Council Chambers, Thursday, Aug. 30, 8:30 a.m.
  • General Plan:  City Council – Approval of Draft General Plan for CEQA, Thursday, Aug. 30, 5 p.m.
No ‘Go Green and Clean’ on Labor Day Weekend
 
There will be no “Go Clean and Green” park beautification effort this week because of the Labor Day holiday.
 
The program will return at Roeding Park, 890 W. Belmont, on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 8 a.m. to noon.
 
In the program, volunteers participate in basic park care through litter removal, flower bed raking, pruning, painting, graffiti removal and other light tasks from 8 a.m. to noon.
 
Volunteers are encouraged to wear long pants, hats, gloves and sun block and bring plenty of drinking water. Basic work tools and supplies will be provided by the City of Fresno.  Each volunteer will be required to complete a volunteer form and waiver.
 
Follow Mayor Swearengin, City of Fresno on Twitter
 
For up-to-date information on happenings related to the City of Fresno, follow Mayor Swearengin on Twitter @MayorSwearengin or the City of Fresno @CityofFresno.