Clovis News

Clovis council approves new animal shelter

A new Clovis animal adoption shelter half-financed by former Pelco President David McDonald was approved Monday night by the Clovis City Council as part of a larger park plan despite complaints from nearby residents.

The proposed location east of the intersection of Temperance and Sierra avenues takes up about 2.9 acres at the future site of Sierra Meadows Park, which will cover more than 100 acres.

As part of the project, the city also plans to build 10 acres of park space north of Sierra Avenue.

Residents say they are worried about the noise and odors that could come from the shelter, and 225 in the neighborhood signed a petition opposing it.

Joe Bezerra, who lives south of the proposed site, agrees that the city needs the adoption center -- just not at that location.

"There are other sites that have not been fully vetted," he said.

City officials and their architect said noise will be buffered and animal waste will go directly into the sewer system, so odors will not be a problem.

A large part of the park has been set aside for the Valley Nature Education Center, which helps mend injured wild animals such as birds of prey and foxes.

The nature center has been part of the city's plans on the land for several years. City officials say the nature center remains part of the larger park's plans.

About 10 acres will be dedicated for park space, in response to residents' concerns about the lack of it.

Adoption center opponent James Atteberry said the new park area is an "appeasement" and that he would prefer it remain vacant.

Owners of about 10 acres of land designated for homes south of the proposed shelter also said it should not go there.

The city approved the subdivision for about 35 homes five years ago when the Clovis housing market was booming.

The property remains empty.

One owner, Dant Morris, wrote to the city that the shelter project has hurt efforts to sell the land.

Last July, McDonald said he would give the animal shelter's nonprofit fundraising arm $2 million toward building the shelter if the city could pay for or receive donations to make up the difference; the total cost is estimated at $4.1 million.

The existing Letterman Park location was considered for the expansion but the city found that soil compaction problems would have led to a costlier project than the Temperance and Sierra location.

The City Council examined four other sites and determined the Sierra Meadows park location was best suited.