BRAWLEY – In a four to one vote, the Brawley City Council Tuesday denied the request by RSG Capital, Inc. for a zone change to a 24.49-acre parcel of land that is located at River Drive and Palm Avenue. Councilmember Helen Noriega was the dissenting vote.
The zoning change is for the proposed River Palm Mobile Home and RV Park/Mini-Storage/Convenience Market project. The parcel is currently zoned R-1 for residential single family. The requested zoning would accommodate mobile home parks, C-1 for neighborhood commercial, and M-1 for light manufacturing.
The proposed project has been denied three times by the Brawley Planning Commission and was placed on the city council agenda in an appeal process.
The appeal was brought to the council as a public hearing on May 5, 2015, postponed for further research to July 7, 2015, and postponed once again to Tuesday’s meeting.
On Tuesday, the council listened to several pleas from the neighbors of the parcel to deny the zoning change.
“I brought in a petition signed by hundreds residents to stop the zone change,” said Brawley resident Jerry Guana. “We don’t want this in our neighborhood.”
Pointing out other dilapidated mobile home parks in Brawley, some citizens spoke of fears of similar outcomes as one of the many reasons they were against the project.
Jay Goyal, the applicant for the zone change, addressed the council in an attempt to show his project would be a good thing for Brawley. Goyal also owns several businesses in Brawley.
“As you can see from the businesses I have in Brawley, we keep everything clean,” said Goyal. “The convenience store and the mini-storage could be used by everyone.”
Council members agreed that the concept was viable, but perhaps in a different location.
“I feel that approving this project would be in the best interest of the city,” said Councilmember Helen Noriega. “”We want Brawley to grow and to become a better city. Denying these kind of projects slows the pace of a growing community.”
But other councilmembers felt taking the advice of the residents was the best option.
“Most of the residents that I have spoken to are not in favor of the project,” said Councilmember Sam Couchman. “Part of the problem for these types of mobile home parks is that the city and the county are both responsible for them. That does not seem to work very well. There are other areas of Brawley that may allow this type of project.”