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Woodlake company to build sports facility

Woodlake company to build sports facility

A Woodlake company is moving forward with plans to build an athletic facility but about half the size of the regional wrestling facility discussed last year.

U.S. Tower has already applied for a conditional use permit to build a 37,500 square foot multi-purpose gymnasium with detached ticket office, restrooms and a 25,000 square foot dormitory, which could accommodate up to 220 athletes and eight coaches. This athletic facility will accommodate a wide range of athletes who will be training for various types of sports including wrestling, judo, karate and professional combat.

“They have downsized the project from what they originally proposed,” City Administrator Ramon Lara said. “The event will be more than just wrestling, it would allow a place for the Wounded Warrior project to work with veterans.”

In early 2012, U.S. Tower, a defense contractor that makes surveillance devices, proposed an 84,000-square foot indoor sports and entertainment arena in Woodlake in a partnership with California USA Wrestling. US Tower owner Bruce Kopitar approached California USA Wrestling to build their arena in Woodlake after negotiations between the wrestling organization and the City of Tulare stalled to build a 27-acre facility at Cartmill and Hillman streets with a price tag of $100 million.

California USA Wrestling is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of collegiate and international styles of amateur wrestling. As the official California affiliate of USA Wrestling, the national governing board for international-style amateur wrestling in the United States, the club is responsible for the organization and execution of sanctioned USA Wrestling events in the state.

On May 15, the Woodlake Planning Commission will consider rezoning 58 acres of its Ropes Avenue complex from “urban reserve” to “industrial.” The public hearing has been set for 6 p.m., or as soon as the matter can be heard, at Woodlake City Hall, located at 350 N. Valencia Blvd. The APNs for the subject properties are 060-160-44 (19.61 acres) and 060-160-45 (39.04 acres). The staff report and environmental report on this planning matter is available to the public at least three days prior to the public hearing. These documents can be picked up at the Woodlake City Hall during normal working hours. These facilities will be served with city water. Wastewater disposal will be by means of septic tank/leach line systems and all storm water runoff will be retained on site.

In January, the Planning Commission approved the rezoning of U.S. Tower’s 27-acre Twilight Park from urban reserve to industrial. Lara said the industrial zoning gives the company more flexibility with the type and size of structures that can be built on the land.

In Other News:

At its May 13 meeting, the Woodlake City Council will hold a public hearing to consider a mitigated negative declaration for a transit center to be located on the southwest corner of Lakeview Avenue and Magnolia Street in Woodlake.

The City is proposing to construct an outdoor transit center including a small parking lot, an outdoor seating area for persons waiting for a bus, a staging lane for buses, and a small open space area that will be landscaped and linked to surrounding properties with sidewalks. The transit center will accommodate Tulare County Area Transit (TCAT) buses. TCAT buses operate weekday from the hours of 6:30 am to 6:30 pm and weekends from 9:40 am to 4:30 pm. The system generally provides stops on the hour. The TCAT system connects residents of Woodlake with the Visalia Transit Center, which in turn connects riders to other county cities, the Greyhound bus system and AMTRAK, which connects Visalia with Hanford where the AMTRAK station is located.

The staff report on this planning matter is available to the public at least three days prior to the public hearing. These documents can be picked up at the Woodlake City Hall during normal working hours.

The public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m., or as soon as the matter can be heard, at Woodlake City Hall. The Woodlake City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month. For more information, call the City at 559-564-8055.

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