The Fresno City Council has postponed a vote on legislation that would undo a key component of the city’s newly adopted general plan.
It’s an amendment that would require developers of multi-family apartment complexes outside of downtown to seek conditional use permits. Those permits add significant time and money to a building’s construction timeline, but they allow for feedback from the city and neighbors.
City councilmember Steve Brandau co-sponsored the amendment because he says community feedback is essential, and it’s not required in the current general plan.
"A developer can come in, buy the land, put up an apartment complex inside of a residential neighborhood, with really no mandatory connection to the people in the neighborhood," he says, "and to me that’s proving to be problematic."
But Ashley Werner, a lawyer with the advocacy group The Leadership Counsel, argues additional building permits would drive up rent and discriminate against lower-income residents.
"It creates a further obstacle to getting the city into legal compliance with housing element law and into expanding housing opportunity in Fresno," she says.
The vote has been postponed to allow city officials to explore alternatives to the amendment.