While the Fresno City Council changed a 10-plus mile stretch of road in south Fresno to Cesar Chavez Boulevard, the county is saying no way.
The city’s 6-1 vote last month, includes parts of California Avenue, Ventura Street, and Kings Canyon Road. But, several stretches are controlled by Fresno County.
Supervisors Steve Brandau and Brian Pacheco have an item on Tuesday’s agenda opposing the name change.
“There was no consultation with affected residents; there was an overreach into County areas and west side portions of the city where residents oppose the name change. That is why I don’t support it,” Pacheco said in a statement to Politics 101.
The city’s resolution drew several speakers at its March 9 meeting, both in support and opposition. Several Black citizens spoke against the name change for the California Avenue section, a historic area in that community. An editorial in the California Advocate, a Black community publication, supported the change.
“The original City resolution last year said an advisory committee would be formed for residents ‘to provide guidance when considering the renaming of the City street.’ That committee was never formed,” Pacheco said. “For me, this isn’t about putting one culture over another, but I believe nobody’s culture or local history should be erased.”
Public safety is another reason for opposing the name change, according to county staff.
“Furthermore, The County of Fresno Emergency Services Division is concerned that these street name changes could affect the timely response of emergency calls for service,” a staff report says.
Luis Chavez: Waiting on Supervisors
Fresno Councilman Luis Chavez (no relation to Cesar Chavez) sponsored the city resolution.
“Renaming a street is a multi-jurisdictional process, the city, county, state, and federal government have to weigh in and I welcome the county voting and making their voice heard. This process has taken over a year to engage, (and) receive input and feedback. I look forward to hearing what the supervisors vote is,” Chavez told Politics 101.
Supervisor Sal Quintero, who represents parts of Kings Canyon Road in the city of Fresno, said he hasn’t decided how he will vote. Chavez is running for supervisor against Quintero in 2024.
When Mayor Jerry Dyer refused to render a veto, the name change became official. The city set aside $1 million to help businesses with the name change. The money would also help the county, if the supervisors go along with the change.
The county island portions that could retain their names include California Avenue, between Hughes and West avenues; Kings Canyon Road, between west of Minnewawa Avenue and Clovis Avenue; and three separate segments on Kings Canyon between Argyle and Temperance avenues.
Another Industrial Site Approved
Last week, the Fresno Planning Commission approved a water treatment storage facility opposed by environmental activists.
The 6-0 vote allows Meras Water Solutions to use an existing 25,000-square-foot building to hold chemicals at Dorothy Avenue, between Cherry and East avenues. The area is zoned for heavy industrial.
The Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, and members of the South Fresno Community Alliance opposed the facility on environmental concerns.
Because it is a storage facility, Meras said traffic will be minimal. The facility will also engage in mitigation measures such as EV chargers, landscaping, and limiting truck idling to three minutes.