Goshen to be developed west of Hwy 99

Tulare County Planning Commission recommends zoning change for project to develop 1.25 million square feet of industrial warehouses in West Goshen

GOSHEN – Visalia may get some new competition for warehouse space locally from its unincorporated neighbor.

For the first time, developers are targeting land west of Highway 99 on the outskirts of Goshen for future industrial growth. This field crop ag land is being promoted for its proximity to Highway 99 and 198 – key arteries for the logistics industry that is already filling up the Visalia Industrial Park. Developers have millions of square feet on the drawing board on hundreds of acres in the city of Visalia.

Now it is the County of Tulare looking to cash-in by rezoning land south and west of Goshen for warehouses with the initial step being taken by the Tulare County Planning Commission at its Sept. 28 meeting.

Leading the charge on this project is Fresno developer Leland Parnagian and his G4 Enterprises Ltd. company. Parnagian already has two large warehouse projects in the Visalia Industrial Park including 790,000 square foot Midstate 99 and a new 316,000 square foot “spec” building nearing completion on Kelsey Street, south of Goshen Avenue.

Now he wants to rezone two parcels totaling 80 acres that he purchased at the southwest corner of Avenue 304 and Road 68 south of Goshen but needs approval to designate all of the land as light industrial since it was zoned for agriculture use when the Goshen Community Plan was adopted in 2018.

No one spoke in favor or against the project during the public hearing.

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Commissioner Wayne Millies motioned to recommend the Tulare County Board of Supervisors update the environmental documents for the Goshen Community Plan, change the zoning from agriculture to light industrial, amend the plan to reflect the change in zoning and update the Urban Development Boundary for the project. The motions were all passed unanimously. 

The recommendations for the zoning change will now go before the Tulare County Board of Supervisors for final approval. If the general plan amendment is approved, the Goshen Urban Development Boundary would be realigned to fully include both parcels as studied in the 2018 Goshen Community Plan Update, according to the staff report.

Big plans

The applicant has provided a conceptual site plan that shows four buildings for a warehouse/office, two of which are approximately 500,000 square feet in size and two of which are approximately 110,000 square feet in size. They total around 1.25 million square feet.

The site plan includes parking spaces for 2200 vehicles as well as two ponding basins.

Developments this size typically employ between 1,500 to 2,000 jobs – enough jobs for each of the 1400 households in this largely low income community. If this warehouse development extends the logistics boom to Goshen, the Highway 99 town is already experiencing a retail /highway commercial boom of sorts along Betty Drive.

“Goshen used to be the place that nobody wanted to go, but now there is huge interest,” Commissioner Bill Whitlatch said.

The County staff report on the rezone says the Road 68/Ave 304 property was intended for rezoning but was inadvertently “split zoned” due to uncertainty about development capacity and property owner interest that was not rectified before the Goshen Community Plan was adopted in 2018. This left 30 acres of the 80 acres still zoned for agriculture use. These conditions have been alleviated by certain critical improvements to allow a rezone to go forward.

Less water demand

These improvements include County plans to expand nearby Road 64 which already connects to 198, with project design and CEQA already completed. The Goshen Community Service District has a “new” pump station in place that limited previous development west of Highway 99 and all water capacity and ground water management concerns are addressed by the Goshen EIR and Cal Water’s will-Serve letter requirements at the time of development. 

The County says rezoning this farmland to industrial will result in less water demand than currently, an argument to be made in favor of designating more land west of 99 for warehouses if this project takes off.

Smee Homes has already pioneered new home development west of 99 helping to fund Road 64 improvement, something the Parnagian property development will do as well.

Future growth?

Will this new industrial project spread into a new industrial park or be an isolated development? Marc Griffiths of Zeeb Commercial’s Marc Griffiths, the real-estate agent who sold the land to Parnagian in May, says it “makes a lot of sense” for more industrial development  to happen in this area “so close to 99” adding that “industrial demand remains high.”

The County is inviting more industrial investment at the bookends of the county as you enter Tulare County from Delano in the south and from the Fresno County border and Kingsburg in the north. The county has rezoned well over 100 acres to attract warehouse development on former ag land.

There is more new competition for Visalia from its neighbor to the south as well. In Tulare, a Chicago developer has purchased 76 acres at Paige Avenue and South I Street with plans for up to a million square feet of “spec” buildings, according to the Fresno Business Journal. The company is called CA Industrial.

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