Monday, September 7, 2015

Out of the developers' closet - Bill Lyons Jr.

Ahhhh Councilman John Gunderson, how I've missed you so! You've been so quiet lately and then you drop this Labor Day gift in our laps - you just outed Bill Lyons as one of the key drivers of the City of Modesto's Wood Colony annexation quest!

Former California Secretary of Agriculture
and local Modesto-area developer,
Bill Lyons Jr.
Photo source 
You see, it is already well known in Wood Colony that the former California State Secretary of AGRICULTURE is the largest landowner in the Beckwith Triangle area of Wood Colony and that he wants his land annexed into the city for development. Bill Lyons is already well established as a developer; he owns the shopping center on the southeast corner of Standiford and Sisk Roads and the Wood Colony shopping center at Pelandale and Sisk. But he's NEVER BEFORE been outed publicly or in print as being one of the key drivers and proponents of the City of Modesto's plans to annex Wood Colony. In fact, when asked directly by Modesto Bee reporter, Kevin Valine as to whether he was seeking annexation for his Wood Colony property, he denied it saying, "...not aware of any talks between his family and the city". (Quote from March 20, 2014 Modesto Bee article "Was microphone left on after Modesto City Council meeting?")

Not only did Councilman Gunderson out Bill Lyons as a fibber, but Mr. Lyons apparently wields all of the City of Modesto's annexation decision-making power as well. Councilman Gunderson wrote in the comments section of the September 7, 2015 Modesto Bee article "Wood Colony meeting on proposed urban growth limit"
"... if the realignment was out of the picture and Bill Lyons wanted to withdraw the commercial color on the map for Beckwith Triangle I would totally support SOS."
So Bill Lyons gets to decide the colors on the city's General Plan map? Bill Lyons gets to decide what is zoned commercial or industrial for the City of Modesto? WOW! For not being a city employee, council member, city planner, or even on the planning commission, Mr. Lyons sure has a lot of power over the city!

How can Mr. Lyons deny it now? When a sitting Modesto City councilman names you in writing, it is pretty-much beyond the "not aware of talks" point. Whether inadvertently or not, Councilman Gunderson is the most transparent council member, I'll give him that.

Since Councilman Gunderson may edit or delete his post on the Bee, a screenshot is provided below: