published on April 7, 2016 - 8:44 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The Chowchilla City Council this week approved a new measure to enhance many of the city’s older, more established neighborhoods. 

By a unanimous vote, the council agreed to waive 100 percent of building impact fees when a builder constructs new homes on vacant lots in the city’s older, more established neighborhoods, providing that the builder secures 30 percent of its goods and services from within Chowchilla.

It is not uncommon for older neighborhoods in Chowchilla to have vacant lots interspersed among homes, according to City Administrator Brian Haddix.

“These lots can become problematic when trash builds up or weeds become overgrown,” Haddix said. “The effect is a decline in the appearance of neighborhoods, taxing the resources of the City to keep them clean.  The challenge faced by builders though has been one of cost; it is often too expensive to construct on a single lot when the surrounding home values are less than what the builder can get in new subdivisions.”

In an effort to solve this problem, the Chowchilla City Council adopted its infill incentivization program. The benefits of infill, according to Haddix, include a rise in property value in neighborhoods as new homes fill in the empty spaces; reenergizing the livability of neighborhoods that are close to the city’s downtown area; enhancing the efficiency of City services by utilizing existing infrastructure versus building new ones; and the overall increase in the economy of neighborhoods and the city when builders hire local and buy local.

“Attractive neighborhoods build pride in where we live,” Haddix said. “The City and the community are in lockstep in seeing a stronger Chowchilla through this investment.”

“We have great schools, attractive parks and a strong sense of community pride,” said Mayor Waseem Ahmed. “The City will continue to do all it can to bolster those strengths by investing in its neighborhoods.”

“This is about the people’s confidence in how we treat the taxpayers’ money,” Ahmed added. “We are committed to staying the course of ferreting out and eliminating any inefficiencies that we find in our system.”

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