Downtown Redevelopment Initiative
The Downtown Redevelopment Initiative is a three part project to create the infrastructure needed to advance the local economic conditions in North Fork, California.
It is a three phase program that began in 2012.
PHASE 1 Re-zone Downtown Parking
One persistent challenge for downtown business owners has been Madera County’s parking requirements. Parking is limited along main street due to how North Fork is laid out. County staff was unfamiliar with this unique situation.
In 2012 older plans were reviewed with both county staff and directors to assess ways to allow businesses to forego burdensome parking requirements.
OUTCOME: District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler, Department Directors and staff agreed to re-zone North Fork’s downtown parking. The new zone will be a business-friendly main street parking designation. Once this happens it will be much easier for you to open a new business in downtown North Fork.
PHASE 2 The North Fork Visitors Center
The North Fork Chamber of Commerce has wanted a dedicated visitors center to facilitate growing tourist and recreation interest for many years. An information kiosk was the first step in this direction, but in 2013 the time was right for having a store front for a staffed visitors center right in downtown.
OUTCOME: Our Visitors Center successfully opened in May of 2013. Open seven days a week over the summer months, the response has been far greater than had been anticipated. Many locals discovered opportunities in North Fork that they had been unaware of. Our guestbook has filled with people from as far away as Argentina and India.
PHASE 3 Solicit a Local Bank to open a North Fork Branch
Residents and business owners must travel to other towns to meet their banking needs. For sustainable banking and lending programs it is essential to have the partnership of a financial institution. To this end the North Fork Chamber of Commerce is exploring with local banks to open a branch in North Fork.
OUTCOME: Stay tuned for how the story unfolds.