New Southwest Visalia Fire Station Gets Green Light for Early 2015 Construction

The planned Fire Station 53 in southwest Visalia.
The planned Fire Station 53 in southwest Visalia.

The Visalia City Council approved the configuration and preferred building elevation for the new Fire Station 53 to be built at the southeast corner of Atwood and Walnut Avenue.

The 7,000-square-foot facility is estimated to cost a total of $3.24 million, which will be funded through Measure T, the quarter-cent sales tax measure approved by voters. The budget includes land acquisition, onsite and offsite construction improvements, project management, design costs and low-water-use landscaping.

The preferred building elevation, pictured above, reduces the building size from the floor plan of Fire Station 55 at Shirk and Ferguson. The project went before the City’s Site Plan Review Committee on June 18 and received a “revise and proceed” with conditions of approval for going forward with the project.

The preferred building elevation was one of three developed by the architect with RRM Design Group. Staff conducted extensive outreach, including a public meeting on May 27. While the current zoning for the site is residential, a fire station is allowed in this zone as a conditional use. A conditional use permit allows the city to consider special uses that may be essential or desirable to the community and provides flexibility within a zoning ordinance.

Bidding for the construction of the project is expected in late October, with an anticipated award of the contract in December. Construction is slated to begin in early 2015.

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