KINGSBURG – Along with recognizing the Kingsburg High girls water polo and tennis teams, the Kingsburg City Council took steps to approve a new housing development and ensure park users’ safety from second-hand smoke at its latest council meeting.

The girls water polo team was brought before the council to receive awards for winning its first ever Central Section title while the girls tennis team won its first ever Valley Title at the Dec. 6 meeting.

Council went on to hear from consulting planner Greg Collins who detailed information on Val-Wide Development’s 49-unit, single-family housing division that will be built on 15 acres of land at the corner of East Kamm and Sixth Avenue.

“The developer still has a number of applications and processes he still has to go through,” Collins said of the process. Since the property is within the city’s boundaries, no annexation is needed.

Collins detailed how he used the city’s scoring system to determine points for the project and described it as “a good infill project.” Since the property is divided into two parts by a road connecting the two areas, Collins said the land is “a little non-traditional  and there is some difficulty in developing the property so I gave them 10 points for that.”

The development will extend sewer, water and storm drainage improvements west from 10th Avenue and south from East Kamm Avenue. Since this will loop the water system, it will help the area maintain water pressure, he said.

In regards to architectural design, Collins said design criteria required in the Northeast Specific Plan will be used.

“That involves everything from landscape medians, parkways and custom homes that have unique design features, varying front yard setbacks.”

Council revisited a decision to update its policy on tobacco use at public parks. The Fresno County Public Health Department is encouraging cities to update their laws and require cities to ban the use of tobacco products at all public parks, not just within 50 feet of play structures.

Although Councilman Bruce Blayney said he’d rather not legislate every aspect of citizens’ lives but realizes it’s more practical for the police department to enforce a simpler no-smoking rule.

Mayor Michelle Roman said she preferred a complete ban as it ensures residents would have cleaner air as they visited local parks.

“There’s Big Brother, but there’s also health problems of second-hand smoke,” Roman said.

City staff compared laws with 47 other communities and of those, 43 responded they have no smoking rules for all parks in their communities.

In the end, the council did approve the tobacco-use ban at its city parks.

Council also heard a micro-grant application for $8,392 to fund and build a sign with Kingsburg High, but postponed a decision to get more clarification about a use-agreement between the two entities. The high school is seeking to replace a current sign at the high school and is asking for a 50-50 split of the total $18,602 cost to do so.

Council also updated the application for special events that requires more department heads to approve, and thus be aware of, events taking place in town.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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