Objection filed over Chukchansi housing project

editor@sierrastar.comJuly 30, 2013 

A letter from Reggie Lewis, signed as chairman of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians, has been received by the Madera County Planning Department, asking for a 90-day continuance of a scheduled Aug. 6 planning commission public hearing concerning a proposed Oakhurst subdivision that would provide housing for tribal elders and families.

In the letter, Lewis said the tribe is in the midst of a governance controversy, and that a faction of the tribe headed by Nancy Ayala and Don Ctibor, "former" executive director of the Chukchansi Indian Housing authority, and others, "have no authority to act on behalf of the tirbe or the CIH."

The plan to rezone property and get approval of a tentative subdivision map for 88 residential units is scheduled for 6 p.m.. Aug. 6, at the Madera County Resource Management Agency Building, 2037 West Cleveland Ave. in Madera.

The plan for 88 housing units, to be built in five phases, consists of 22 two-bedroom, three bath quadplexes.

The development will be funded exclusively by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Indian Housing Block Grant.

The housing authority is requesting to rezone 21 acres of the 50-acre parcel to support the density required for the project, located on the north side of Westlake Drive, a half mile north of its intersection with Highway 49, behind True Value Homecenter.

The property is owned by Marie C. Lane (Rowena Wright living trust).

The housing authority's rezoning application states that the housing authority recognizes that a diverse and thriving tribe requires stable housing for people of all income levels ... and the development will address the need for attractive, quality, affordable housing for low to moderate income families from the Picayune Rancheria.

A draft finding of "No Significant Impact" report has been prepared by Robert Mansfield of the county planning department in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, stating the project "will have no significant impact on the human environment."

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