The 2035 Fresno General Plan adopted by the City Council on December 18 puts the city's foot down on sprawl. Supporters see the approval as a major victory for Smart Growth principles, though it had critics on left and right.
A strong center/left coalition joined Mayor Ashley Swearengin in backing the plan, However, environmental justice and equity activists asked how strongly the plan would limit suburban expansion and who would benefit from infill development. They sought policies for affordable housing and against displacement, and attention to industrial polluters such as the notorious Darling International rendering plant southwest of downtown.
Meanwhile, local developers and small-government advocates questioned whether the plan would curtail property rights or lifestyle choices, and asked if people accustomed to suburban densities and private auto use would remain in Fresno if it meant accepting denser housing, especially in the stigmatized downtown area. Tea Party-oriented opponents recoiled at federal funding for projects such as bus rapid transit (BRT).
An appellate court has directed a trial court to set aside all of a project's approval because portions of an environmental impact report were found to be inadequate.
The Fifth District Court of Appeal declined to follow the practice of allowing severance of project approvals unaffected by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) violation. Instead, the court required that the project approval be set aside in its entirely once the CEQA violation was shown.
A charming anecdote from the childhood of the future Queen Victoria can be found in Lytton Strachey's classic biography. When still a young noblewoman of five or six, she is introduced to the aging King George IV. "Give me your paw," says the fat, dissolute monarch to the future Empress of India, who duly complies. At that moment, the biographer writes memorably, "Two ages touched hands."
Two ages also touch hands, in a metaphorical way, in the specific plan for Loma Vista in Clovis.
Mathematicians often take delight in Cat's Cradle, the age-old game of making string figures on one's fingers. In the most familiar form of this game, one person starts out with a simple rectangle of yarn or string, and then makes a simple figure by looping different parts of the yarn around his or her fingers. This figure is then passed to the fingers of a second player, who introduces another layer of complexity into the figure before passing the increasingly complex string figure to a third player. And so on, until the figure becomes so complex that it becomes impossible to go further, at least with a two-foot length of yarn.