This Week at City Hall - 'Let Us Choose Action'
10/17/2011
‘Let us choose action’
 
Mayor Ashley Swearengin on Friday called for decisive action on determining the future of the Fulton Mall, saying the City cannot be successful and economically vibrant without a revitalized downtown.
 
Mayor Swearengin announced the release of the draft Fulton Mall Specific Plan, which defines a vision for a Downtown core that is focused on a revitalized Fulton Mall and utilizes best practices in managing parking and transportation, water supply, historic resources, and other assets. The Plan works in tandem with the form-based Downtown Development Code, a new zoning code for Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, to ensure a higher quality of new building design over time.
 
The first public meeting on the Fulton Corridor Specific Plan will be held Tuesday from 3 to 5 p.m. in council chambers at Fresno City Hall.
 
Mayor introduce Fulton plan 10-2011.jpgIn announcing the release of the Plan on Friday, Mayor Swearengin provided her support for a preferred alternative that would introduce a two-way street through Fulton Mall and restore selected Mall design elements in their original Mall contexts (“vignettes”) in a manner that provides improved retail visibility and some on-street parking.
 
Two other options also will be considered equally during the year-long environmental review process.
 
“Whether you agree with my recommendation or disagree, I ask you to join me in calling for action and no longer being satisfied with the status quo state of the Mall and our Downtown,” Mayor Swearengin said.  “Let us choose action this time and set our Downtown and our city on the right course this time for the benefit of, not only our generation, but many generations to come.”
 
Under the preferred alternative, the Mall landscape in the “vignette” areas would be retained to the maximum extent possible.  Fourteen of the Mall’s 20 sculptures would remain in their current locations, and the remaining six would be relocated in the Central Business District, either along Fulton or assembled in Mariposa Plaza.  Additonally, 12 of the 21 water features would remain in place and functioning.
 
Under the plan, gross retail sales at the Mall are projected to increase by 73 percent to about $55 million annually.
 
The City will hold a series of public meetings that will be conducted by the Fulton Corridor Specific Plan Community Advisory Committee.  All meetings will be held at City Hill in the council chambers, 2600 Fresno St.
 
The schedule for the meetings is:
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18, 3 to 5 p.m.
     
  • Tuesday, Oct. 25, 3 to 5 p.m.
     
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1, 3 to 5 p.m.
     
  • Tuesday, Nov. 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
 
City staff also will brief the Fresno City Council on the alternatives at council’s Oct. 20 meeting.
 
Read the full news release of the Mayor’s announcement here.
 
Read the Mayor’s speech at the announcement here.
 
View the Mayor’s Power Point presentation here.
 
View the video of the Mayor’s announcement at the Special Events archive here (click on Fulton Corridor Specific Plan).
 
See the Fulton Corridor Specific Plan here.
 
Strong Cities, Strong Communities Project Manager arrives in Fresno
 
Sarah Nusser just moved to downtown Fresno from Washington, D.C., to serve as the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Project Manager.
 
From her position within the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Sarah will be working closely with the Mayor's staff and other SC2 team members to understand how the federal government — through its existing agencies and programs — can best support the City's vision for Fresno.
 
Nusser first joined HUD in 2002, and between 2004 and 2008 she worked for the National Association for County Community and Economic Development.  Sarah received her bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in Urban Studies and her Master in City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  She returned to HUD shortly after graduate school as the Special Assistant to the General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development.
 
"I am incredibly excited and honored to be here,” Nusser said. "I am already impressed by Fresno for many reasons and think that the Mayor has done a wonderful job of bringing together the work that people throughout the city and county have done to move forward in the face of serious and significant challenges.  Fresno has the opportunity to define its future based on its own assets, history and culture.  Existing federal programs should be able to work in tandem with this local path, and understanding how to make that work is one of the major reasons I and the other team members are here."
 
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 ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fulton Village, a three-story, mixed-use project by GV Urban at Fulton and Amador streets in Downtown Fresno;
     
  • Participating in the Fulton Corridor Specific Plan Community Advisory Committee public meeting to discuss alternatives to revitalize Fulton Mall;
     
  • Meeting with leaders from Fresno Pacific University on Learn2Earn, our adult education initiative;
     
  • Conducting internal meetings on high-speed rail and speaking at a high-speed rail seminar at Fresno State;
     
  • Speaking at the Valley Cultural Coalition conference at the Warnors Center for the Performing Arts.
 
It’s Local Bites Night on Tuesday!
 
On Tuesday, October 18,  Mayor Swearengin will be celebrating our locally owned restaurants at Piazza del Pane, 799 West Palmdon Drive (southeast corner of Palm and Herndon), starting at 5:30 p.m.  Please join us at this dinner – or plan to eat at a locally owned restaurant at least once a month to help our local economy.If you’re planning to join Mayor Swearengin, just remember – when it comes to the bill, you’re on your own!
 
All of the dates and additional information on the Local Bite Night schedule is posted on the Taste Fresno website at www.TasteFresno.com/localbites. For a great list of locally owned restaurants, see the City of Fresno’s Local Business Directory or go to www.FresnoLocalBiz.com.  
 
‘Go Green and Clean’ at Kaiser Park
 
The “Go Green and Clean” park beautification program will be held at Kaiser Park, 425 E. Alluvial, on Saturday, Oct. 22.
 
In the program, volunteers participate in basic park care through litter removal, flower bed raking, pruning, painting, graffitiremoval 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.
 
This Week’s Meetings
 
Here are other city-related meetings this week:
Disability Advisory Commission: Inclusive Emergency Management for the Whole Community,  Deaf & Hard of Hearing Service Center, 5340 N. Fresno St., Monday, Oct. 17, 1-3 p.m.
  • District 3 Implementation Committee, City Hall Room 2060, Monday, Oct. 17, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
     
  • Fresno Corridor Specific Plan public meeting, City Council chambers, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 3 p.m.
     
  • Downtown Neighborhoods Community Plan public meeting, Tehipite Middle School, 630 N. Augusta St., Tuesday, Oct. 18, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
     
  • General Plan: Urban Form, Part One, El Dorado -- Wesley United Methodist Church, 1343 E. Barstow Ave., Tuesday, Oct. 18, 6-8 p.m.
     
  • Planning Commission, Council chambers, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 6-10 p.m.
     
  • City Council meeting, Council chambers, Thursday, Oct. 20, 8:30 a.m.
 
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.