What do the Palm/Nees avenue San Joaquin River access and Realtors have in common?
Recently I decided to take a walk about 4 p.m. on the river bottom, I walked down the Palm/Nees pathway to get below. In doing so, I found it friendly, accessible, open and felt “safe” for the most part.
What amazed me were the encounters I had with about six encampments, four individuals separately living behind bushes, one drug deal, which I mistakenly walked upon, and a variety of trash and fire pits left behind. I continued to walk as far as possible, then walked back to my car and drove home.
As a citizen who grew up in southeast Fresno, I worked near Butler and Orange avenues, deep in the heart of where one might get shot. I’ve never felt so odd and simply fearful of what may come out of the bushes or be hiding or listening to me. I sensed there were people watching me.
I am a Realtor of 12 years and have worked in home building for 30 years. As I walked and talked on the phone (to make sure someone knew where I was) I noticed how close the homes were to where I was and I could not imagine being a homeowner.
My second thought was about the safety of the homeowners and their children. If people are doing drugs and are desperate enough, they will break in even if just for food.
And my third thought was what I’d have to convey now that I know what I know as a Realtor.
On Nov.15, I attended the river parkway meeting at Fresno City Hall and was pleased to see the turnout. While the majority liked primarily two proposals, the one I choose based on my experience is Option 5B.
And here is why: While 5B will cost us money now, 5B allows us to expand a natural reserve in the heart of our city which can become a national attraction. We are already the hub of so many amazing projects and other natural attractions, and this would add to that.
Alongside, I see the opportunity for so many collaborative clean-up and tree-planting parties that will help to maintain the park. Imagine if our children took field trips to learn about the environment and also participate in what it is to give back with community service.
Then there is economic development. Imagine if we had the Lyles Center and the kids creatively make a fundraising strategy for signage. We need $5 million. We fund raise. It’s what we do, and it’s what this community loves.
Two really important things that were mentioned on the dais that day were fear and devaluation of people’s homes. I agree on both accounts.
As a Realtor, based on what I now know about what is below those homes, I must “disclose” to any person what I know. And now I know first and what really goes on down there. And now, so do the rest of the mindful citizens and Realtors of Fresno.
Yes, it is probable that an element of the home sale such as this is critical to what makes or breaks the deal, along with the safety and traffic concerns that would occur as a result of Option 1.
One of the most important features for people buying a home with children is safety. So what do we Realtors do when we have a crisis? We create a plan of action or as we say in politics – we pivot.
With that said, Option 5B clarifies these concerns because we open the gates at Palm and Nees, clean up the area below the homes, collaborate and seek out money. And as Mayor Lee Brand mentioned recently, “The Palm/Nees intersection is the only option that provides convenient public transportation for all Fresnans to take advantage of the beauty of the San Joaquin River – and I say safety too.
Christine Cerda is a Realtor with Guarantee Real Estate Fig Garden. Connect with her at 285-1999.