coca-cola fresno

The current Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling plant in Fresno on Malaga Street is seen in this Google Street View photo.

published on February 3, 2023 - 1:54 PM
Written by Frank Lopez

A local soft-drink bottler is on its way to expanding operations in Fresno with a new distribution plant.

The City of Fresno’s Planning Commission voted Wednesday to approve plans for a Coca-Cola distribution plant in south Fresno.

According to an operational statement from Irvine-based Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling (RCCB), the plant would be built on 15 acres near East and North avenues, about a mile north on Highway 99 from its current facility.

The vacant property located at 791 and 998 E North Ave. is zoned as Heavy Industrial with a planned land use of Employment – Heavy Industrial. The applicant’s name is Lone Oak – Fresno, LLC.

The project will cover 204,979 square feet of warehouse space with an additional two-story office. It will be constructed of concrete tilt-up panels, a panelized roof system, 29 dock-high doors with a truck wash and maintenance shop attached to the warehouse.

According to GVWire, RCCB representative Pehr Perterson told the Fresno Planning commission the plant and the 214 jobs could go elsewhere if the facility was not approved during Wednesday’s meeting.

“If the city of Fresno and the county do not want us here, the easy answer is we’re going to end up somewhere else,” Peterson told the Commission. “It would be a loss of jobs if this is not approved because we would be moving somewhere else. There would be other communities that would take us in.”

The proposed plan comes with an expansion option of 40,300 square feet for the warehouse.

The proposed hours of operation are 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The development application was filed by Dan Nguyen of Gray Construction in Lexington, Kentucky.

According to the GVWire article, Councilmember Miguel Arias, who presides over the district where the plant is proposed, said the project will be presented to the Fresno City Council at an undetermined date.

The proposed facility did meet some opposition from local community groups.

In a letter to the city’s Director of Department of Resource Management & Development Jennifer Clark, representatives from the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability and the South Fresno Community Alliance say the project will impact disadvantaged communities.

The letter states that the Fresno Planning Department ignores certain facts, including that the proposed project is in the top 1% of the most pollution overburdened communities. The decision to approve the permit application, the letter states, will perpetuate the siting of heavy industrial uses near communities of color.

“This proposed project will have significant negative impacts to the residents of the City and County of Fresno due to the increase of heavy industrial uses and increased heavy duty truck traffic,” the letter reads.

A response to the letter from RCCB states that the project conducted an operational Health Risk Assessment, which found that all health risk levels to nearby residents from operation-related emissions of toxic air contaminates would be well below the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s thresholds.

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