Clovis Research and Technology Park will nearly double in size over the next several years after Clovis City Council members approved plans for the project Monday night.
City Council members approved an environmental report and a general-plan change that will add 153 acres to the project, which is just north of Highway 168 and Temperance Avenue.
The research and technology park is now 180 acres and includes such companies as Precision Plastics, APPL Inc., the engineering firm of Provost & Pritchard and Cargo Bay, a privately operated business incubator.
Under the proposal, the project will extend eastward to Nees Avenue in a thin strip of land north of Highway 168.
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In addition to the technology and business uses, the new portion of the park will have zoning for trails, hotels and some live-work residences to reduce the project's traffic and air-quality effects.
The project will allow the city to have more land available for technology and light industrial uses and increase the number of high-paying jobs in the city to improve the city's jobs-housing balance, a measurement of the number of jobs in the city compared with the employed population.
Some residents in the area are concerned that the project will reduce their property values.
Others were concerned about noise from traffic and the street patterns, especially the route for Alluvial Avenue as it meanders from Temperance Avenue east toward the future Nees Avenue exit from Highway 168.
It could take decades to develop the land, up to 50 years, said City Manager Kathy Millison.
By creating a master plan now, Mayor Harry Armstrong said, the city will be ready when the economy turns around.
He compared the planning of the technology park to the planning 30 years ago of Clovis Community Medical Center, which is only now growing into its property.
He also said that the acquisition of the business park where Pelco is housed occurred 35 years ago.
"It's a problem you have when you move into a rural area," he said.
Residents also were concerned that the city is dedicating too much land to future business uses because only 14% of the first 180 acres of the technology park is occupied.
"I don't think any of us is saying no to this vision," said resident Ian Pattie.
"All we are saying ... is this the right time?"
Resident Pam Schmitz also spoke against the expansion. She said the changes should wait until businesses show interest in the area.
"To approve the change ... at this time seems extremely premature and unrealistic," she said.