Residents oppose re-zoning of nearby property

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ Staff Writer

Glynna Martin told city commissioners Thursday a commercial neighbor would compromise her privacy and devalue her property.

Martin, a single mother of four, and a handful of Clovis residents who live on Lea Street attended the City Commission meeting to protest a proposed rezoning of a residential lot in their neighborhood.

Tierra Blanca, a development company, owns the residential lot of land on Lea Street, which it plans to turn into a parking lot for property it owns adjacent to it on Prince Street.
The City Commission voted down the proposal 8–0.

“My house is the one that’s right up to the vacant lot,” she said. “My bedroom, my bathroom windows are all along side that vacant lot.”

A notice was sent out to residents living within 100 feet of the lot when Tierra Blanca applied to rezone the residential. The application met a protest from about 35 percent of the residents, according to Planning and Zoning Director Louis Gordon.

Planning and Zoning commissioners voted against the rezoning 4-2 during their Nov. 14 meeting.
Lawrence Koleck, who represents Tierra Blanca, told city commissioners Thursday the company plans to enhance the neighborhood.
“We feel the true picture is that we will enhance the beauty of the area with hundreds of thousands of dollars of improvements,” he said.

Koleck said a potential business for the property could be a medical facility.

Edwina Potter, who has lived in her Lea Street house for about 17 years, said the parking lot would blemish their neighborhood.

“We just simply do not want the property switched from residential to commercial because we do know that it will deteriorate out neighborhood,” she said.

Martin recently bought her house located in front the proposed parking lot. A real estate agent, she said the parking lot would bring down the property value of her house.

“I would have a very hard time selling my house with a commercial property right next door to it,” she said. “Who would want a parking lot right up next to that?”

Commissioner Fred Van Soelen said development is good for the city and could help remove eyesores and fill vacant lots. He said as things change and more businesses move into the city some residential areas could be rezoned.

“But at this point Lea Street is clearly a residential street,” he said.

In other business, commissioners:

• Approved to support the Clovis school district’s general obligation bond.

The bond would ask Clovis residents to continue a $12 million bond for repairs and construction of school buildings, according to Deputy Superintendent Ladona Clayton. Clayton said the district has carried a bond for more than 30 years.

• Approved a liability insurance coverage from Aon Consulting. The city will pay about $1.06 million for the plan.