The Citizens for Preserving Reedley (CPR) are hoping that absentee ballots keep them on top of a ballot question that will keep Wal-Mart out of town. On 1/2/02, Newsflash reported that Wal-Mart had dropped out of contention to build a store near the Kings River, but they departed too late to pull off two zoning questions on the Reedley ballot that would have paved the way for the superstore. Wal-Mart told the Fresno Bee newspaper at the time that its withdrawal was “strictly a business decision based on the costs incurred to meet the city’s demands.” The property owner kept his application pending, so he could still go ahead with a large store if the zoning measures pass. Measure C would change the city’s general plan and Kings River Corridor Plan to allow nearly 68 acres of vacant and agricultural land to be developed commercially. And Measure D would make the necessary zoning changes for a subdivision, a conditional-use permit and an anmnexation of part of the parcel into the city. The Fresno Bee reported that with all the precincts counted from the March 5th, vote, Measures C and D had been defeated, stopping the development. The “no” votes on Measures C and D were 50% and 51%, respectively. But there are as many as 8,000 absentee votes not counted yet that could turn the vote in either direction. Our sources tell us Measure C’s vote was 1585 No, 1564 Yes, and measure Measure D was 1598 No, 1536 Yes. Stay tuned.
The Reedley vote may not be finalized for another week. But the vote makes it clear that a significant number of local residents in Reedley do not want superstore retail sprawl along the King’s River corridor. For more Reedley background, search this database by “Reedley”.