Civic Auditorium

The Hanford City Council meets inside the Hanford Civic Auditorium.

Sentinel file photo

On Tuesday, the Hanford City Council will hold a public hearing to get input from the public on a proposed general plan overhaul and zoning ordinance update.

The overhaul would, among other things, change some development policies that have restricted certain types of businesses, such as furniture stores, from locating on the 12th Avenue corridor and in the area of what is now the Costco shopping center.

The policies, established in the 1990s, were designed to make downtown vibrant by channeling development into the downtown area.

The overhaul would also rezone the vacant land next to Hidden Valley Park as low-density residential, paving the way for its potential sale to a developer. The land is currently zoned for "public facilities," which would preclude its conversion to housing.

A vocal group of Hanford residents, many of who live near the vacant property, are expected to protest against the zoning change.

At past meetings, protesters have called for turning the land into an extension of Hidden Valley Park.

Downtown advocates have also objected to some of the changes.

The public hearing had been scheduled for the April 4 council meeting, but was delayed by Hanford Mayor David Ayers on the grounds that not enough City Council members were present.

Councilwoman and Vice-Mayor Sue Sorensen recused herself, walking out of the room.

Sorensen has taken the position that because she has a partial ownership share in a downtown building, that ownership precludes her from participating in certain downtown-related agenda items.

Councilman Justin Mendes was absent due to the birth of his second child.

The reporter can be reached at snidever@hanfordsentinel.com or 583-2432. 

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