Lemoore City Council tackles second readings of ordinances for 362-home development

By The Leader Staff
Lemoore City Council tackles second readings of ordinances for 362-home development

Lemoore’s council members, at their June 2 meeting, approved a series of actions paving the way for a significant new subdivision in Lemoore. Council members could finalize the development Tuesday night, passing the second reading of a pair of ordinances linked to the project.

Ordinances require two separate readings – and votes – by the city council before officially enacted, and if approved a second time, will place the finishing touches on a proposal by Lennar Homes to build 362 new homes adjacent to West Hills Community College.

The Lemoore City Council, at its last meeting, held June 2, approved the first readings of ordinances that approved a zoning map amendment and the planned unit development.

Two weeks ago, the four council members (Mayor Eddie Neal, John Plourde, Stuart Lyons, and Chris Schalde) voted unanimously to proceed with plans to build the Lennar subdivision, potentially the first major development to be constructed adjacent to West Hills College.

The council’s approval came despite strong words from Naval Air Station Lemoore Commander, Capt. Douglas Peterson who objected to the city's efforts to provide housing west of Highway 41, adjacent to the college. “We are also concerned that it would expose aircrew and future Lemoore residents to unnecessary health and safety risks,” he said during the June 2 public hearing.

Peterson cited several issues with the construction of housing north of Highway 41:

  • Lemoore’s remoteness and good flying weather are great for the navy. Allowing for residential construction underneath a pre-existing flight corridor will encroach on that mission.
  • Allowing residential development underneath flight patterns “is incompatible” with Naval Air Station Lemoore’s mission and will affect mission readiness, aircraft wise.
  • Future residents will be exposed to future sound levels at 89 to 101 decibels, about 90 decibels average.
  • If approved, the development will lead to risk and conflict between the navy and the city, which the navy wishes to avoid.

Peterson told council members that if the housing development is approved, it could lead to risk and conflict between the navy and city, something he said the navy wants to avoid.

Council members and city staff insisted that growth needs to happen near the college area. “At this point, we need to stay the course. I understand the base’s concerns, but you know this is a navy town,” said Lemoore City Manager Nathan Olson.  “Jets fly over my house every day. I love the sound of those jets. They don’t bother me.”


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