Present Land Use
The Project comprises approximately 286 acres. The southern portion of the site, from SR 198 to Mill Creek, is located within the City limits. This portion is zoned QP by the Visalia Zoning Ordinance and designated Parks/Recreation and Conservation by the Visalia GP. The northernmost portion, north of Mill Creek and extending from the Cecil Court alignment to Houston Avenue, is located within unincorporated Tulare County. The City’s GP designates this area for Parks and Recreation and Low, Medium, and High Density Residential uses, while the County’s GP indicates it as Agriculture. The current County zoning of the northernmost area is AE-20 (Agricultural zone).
The majority of the site is currently occupied by pecan orchards for the southern portion within the City and by walnut orchards for the northern portion within the County.
Project Description: The purpose of the Project would be to co-locate city-wide/regional park amenities for both passive and active recreational uses, amongst functional groundwater recharge/storm water layoff basins. The Project would allocate approximately 148 acres park uses and approximately 104 acres for recharge/storm water facility purposes.
Project Location: The Project area evaluated in this DEIR comprises approximately 286 acres situated in the northeast quadrant of the City of Visalia and County of Tulare, lying north of State Route (SR) 198 and east of North McAuliff Street. The Project Site is generally bounded as follows: on the south by the proposed realigned Mineral King Avenue; on the west by existing single-family residences and proposed
Tower Street (Road 148); on the east by Road 152; and on the north by Houston Avenue (called Ivanhoe Drive within Tulare County). This segment of Houston Avenue is also designated as SR 216. The project area consists of Assessor Parcel Numbers (APNs) 103-110-024, -025, -026, -027, -028, -029, -032, and -033; 103-500-001, -002, -003; 103-510-002, -003, -004, -005, -006, -007 -008, and -009. The Project site
has historically been and is currently used for agricultural purposes. There are multiple orchards in various stages, such as removal, planting, and harvesting, on the site. Two seasonal channels traverse the property: Mill Creek, and Packwood Creek. Three irrigation ditches traverse a portion of and terminate on the property or along the property boundary: Fleming Ditch, Oakes Ditch and one unnamed ditch. The
unnamed ditch originates on the property as a bifurcation of Oakes Ditch. A portion of the Project site south of Packwood Creek and fronting along Mineral King Avenue is currently fallow with two depressed areas; the depressed area in the southeast corner was utilized in the past as a temporary parking lot. A portion of the Project site north of Packwood Creek and in the southwest corner contains an existing agricultural recharge basin.