A change in zoning that might enable the Marjaree Mason Middle to maneuver right into a vacant property in north Fresno was accepted by the Fresno Planning Fee on Wednesday.

Commissioners lifted sure restrictions on using the previous Milan Institute of Cosmetology campus on Bullard Ave. simply west of Blackstone. The vote was 6-0.

Marjaree Mason Middle is a number one supplier of providers to home violence victims and is in escrow to purchase the previous vocational faculty campus. Milan moved to Clovis final 12 months.

As at the moment zoned, solely a college or different public establishment is permitted on the five-acre property. MMC wants the zoning change in an effort to use the campus for company wants.

Residents talking on the assembly have been typically supportive, however cautious in regards to the potential new neighbor.

Help, However With Situations

A number of residents spoke in help of the rezoning utility, so long as Marjaree Mason Middle completes the acquisition of the property. If not, neighbors requested the planning fee hold the prevailing zoning restrictions in place.

Josie Almeida spoke on behalf of space residents.

“The group who wish to buy the property might be an affordable possibility,” Almeida mentioned. “We might really feel higher about not being subjected to a bait and swap scenario.”

Different audio system criticized the town of Fresno for a scarcity of transparency in regards to the potential purchaser when the appliance first surfaced. MMC officers mentioned they wanted state permission to disclose the company’s intentions due to the confidential nature of its providers.

Some neighbors requested commissioners to impose a requirement for a taller fence across the facility and to increase it past the again property line. Metropolis code permits as much as an eight-foot fence.

There was no formal opposition to the rezoning utility.

MMC Chief Advocates for New Facility

Nicole Linder, govt director for Marjaree Mason Middle, mentioned her group has outgrown its downtown Fresno location. The Milan website works due to its proximity to highways, transportation, and medical providers, she mentioned.

“The quantity that we serve in our neighborhood is excessive and we wanted a spot that was in a position to match that. The pandemic hit and like all people went into a distinct triage mode and began wanting for lots of locations. And this can be a good location for us,” Linder mentioned.

She advocated for the zoning change to permit MMC to make use of the property.

“It’s nestled in a neighborhood that’s crammed with love and neighbors who’re additionally dedicated to being as neighborly as we wish to be,” Linder mentioned.

Brady McGuinness, an lawyer representing present property proprietor Austin Enterprises, LP, mentioned the rezoning would make the neighborhood safer.

“Getting this away from being a vacant, unused parcel, irrespective of how good the safety is, goes to eradicate a few of the opposed impacts and results that occur when a property is giant, it’s darker at night time and it’s accessible for individuals to come back in and make the most of after they’re not presupposed to be,” McGuinness mentioned. “The worst factor you are able to do with an infill mission is let it stay vacant.

He additionally mentioned there can be much less visitors than if a college used the property.

Authorised With Situations

Planning Division Director Jennifer Clark suggested the fee that their determination have to be based mostly on using the property, not the consumer.

The fee voted to approve the rezoning request with three circumstances — at the very least a six-foot fence alongside the again wall; entry from Del Mar Avenue restricted to emergency autos solely; and the flexibility to the use the property for social providers and as an emergency shelter facility.

By definition, emergency shelter is proscribed to a keep of 180 days; a social service facility is usually for stays of lower than 30 days.

An MMC spokeswoman mentioned providers on the Milan website can be along with these it offers at its downtown M Road location.

Occupancy of the north Fresno location might nonetheless be years away. In a earlier assertion, MMC mentioned they’re contemplating utilizing the house for workplaces and providers similar to a hotline name middle, consumption processing, and psychological well being providers.

The rezoning utility will subsequent transfer to the Fresno Metropolis Council for ultimate consideration.

Commissioners Peter Vang, Brad Hardie, DJ Criner, Kathy Bray, Monica Diaz and Robert Fuentes voted in favor. Haley Wagner was absent.

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