Lindsay council tables downtown dollar store proposal
City seeking $1 million in Measure R surplus funds
LINDSAY — Once again a plan that would land a dollar store to downtown dominated Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting. And once again, the store’s future remains in limbo after the applicant asked the council to table the matter.
The council obliged the San Diego-based Embree Assset Group’s request with a 5-0 vote.
“The developer contacted staff and they want to review the design elements of their project and they would like to further address concerns raised during comment for this so they request tabling this until the first meeting in April,” said Bill Zigler, Planning and Economic Development director for Lindsay.
After proclamations congratulating the Lindsay girls basketball and soccer teams for securing Valley titles, all that remained in the council chambers were people interested in learning what direction the council would take on the site plan review for a Dollar General Store.
The proposed project would bring a 9,100 square foot retail building and two adjacent parking lots to the southwest corner of Hermosa Street and Mirage Avenue. The store would be in the city’s “central commercial” zoning district and lead to the demolition of the Citrus Exchange building.
The council brought the project back to Tuesday’s meeting after closing the public hearing at the previous meeting. If this project were to be approved it would be the second dollar store project allowed by the city in 2013.
At the Feb. 26 meeting, the council passed the site plan for a Family Dollar Store on the outskirts of town — the southeast corner of Mariposa and Highway 65.
Six of the 10 people that spoke during the Tuesday’s public comment had something to say about the project. And again, the majority of the comments were focused on the historical significance of the Citrus Exchange building.
Losing it would be a major loss for the community, said resident Gerard Samulsky, who implored the city to look into purchasing the building and using it for office space as they had done in the past.
Two residents were upset with those speaking in opposition to not only this project but other city matters, concluding that the negativity needed to stop.
Earlier in the meeting, following a 5-minute presentation on the Measure R Expenditure Plan, Amendment Three by the Tulare County Association of Government, the council voted 5-0 to have city staff move forward with a proposal asking for $1 million in Measure R surplus funds that could become available through the amendment.
TCAG projected a surplus of $15 million from the half-cent sales tax and that three cities had already made project requests. It has not been decided how the excess would be allocated but cities were invited to submit proposals.
Lindsay would use it to create a multi-phase Pedestrian Pathways Network program. Initially, the focus would allow the city to connect the existing sidewalk network to Roosevelt School, which is located on the corner of Hickory Street and Sequoia Avenue, City Manager Rich Wilkinson said. Funds could also be used at different locations throughout town.
Council approved an ordinance 5-0 amending the Lindsay Municipal Code clarifying the process of water billing, delinquency, and enforcement. The changes bring Lindsay in line with surrounding cities and alleviates some of the confusion consumers had with the current bills, city Finance Department Director Tamara Laken said.
Changes that go into affect in late April include having bills due the first of the month and becoming delinquent on the 25th of the same month; a $10 penalty would be incurred if the bill becomes delinquent; water service would be shut off on the first Tuesday of the month following delinquency if the past due is not paid in full; and service would be restored once delinquent charges, plus penalties and reconnect fees were paid.
The council also cut ties to Alameda Circle, located east of the eastern extent of Sequoia Avenue. The housekeeping measure saves the city from incurring any maintenance costs or public liability associated with the roughly 600 foot roadway and its two surrounding lots.
Alameda Circle was created as part of the Sequoia Villas Subdivision which was a Lindsay Redevelopment Agency housing asset and was intended to provide public access to privately-owned homes, Zigler explained to the council. This housing asset was transferred to the non-profit Housing Authority of Tulare County following the statewide dissolution of redevelopment agencies.
Contact Brian Williams at 784-5000, ext. 1044 or follow on Twitter @b_dubw.