City Council approves construction of Northwest Visalia apartment complex despite protest from dozens

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Even before you reach the corner of Shirk and Doe, the controversy swirling around the empty lot is hard to miss. (KFSN)

Even before you reach the corner of Shirk and Doe, the controversy swirling around the empty lot is hard to miss. Scott Nelson can tell you all about it, over the fence.

"We have nothing against apartments, this just isn't the spot for them. We don't need apartments, we need something that will benefit everybody around here," said Nelson.

For months, a developer has been intending to build a 200 unit apartment complex on the land. From the beginning, neighbors have been vehemently opposed. When the planning commission granted the builders a conditional use permit, Nelson's family filed an appeal.

"It's going to affect everything, it's going to affect the traffic, the schools, just getting in and out of this road," said Nelson.

For more than an hour at Monday's City Council meeting -families aired their concerns.

Neighbors say they were misled when they brought their homes--told that the property next door was zoned for service commercial, not for building more homes.

"If I would have looked online and saw medium density apartments, there is no way I would have bought this house, not a chance," said Jacob Kitson.

The developer, Pacific Rim, says they have made several concessions to help appease angry neighbors, from lowering the number of units to building a higher wall.

"The project is zoned, the general plan is in place, I am begin you to approve, and we will build a project that everyone is proud of," said Paul Owhadi.

In the end, the developer will get that chance. City Council voted four to one to reject the appeal. Clearing the way for that complex to be built--on a land where controversy will likely remain.

Related Topics:
politicsapartmentprotestcaliforniaVisaliaCalifornia
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