The Fig Garden Home Owners Association represents 2,000 families who live in the area roughly bounded by Shields/Shaw and Fruit/Blackstone. The organization depends on voluntary membership dues to pay for mailings and research that focuses on public policy issues and preserving the historic Fresno neighborhood. The association also coordinates the annual Christmas Tree Lane celebration of lights.
Anyone who supports the neighborhood is welcome to become a member.
BECOME A MEMBER
Voluntary membership dues:
Send a check for $70 payable to:
FGHA, PO Box 5796, Fresno, CA 93755
ATTEND A MEETING
The Fig Garden Home Owners Association meets the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Fig Garden Swim & Racquet Club, 4722 N Maroa Ave. The public is welcome. Contact us if you have an item that needs review or discussion.
GARDEN OF EDEN
Learn more about the historic context of Fresno's Fig Gardens from Karana Hattersley-Drayton, M.A. of the City of Fresno in this special report.
In April 1947, The Fig Garden's Men's Club achieved nonprofit corporate status "to promote the general welfare of that certain area of the County of Fresno , State of California , lying north of and adjacent to the City of Fresno." The original definition of that "certain area" in the Articles of Incorporation followed the boundaries of the Forkner-Giffen Fig Garden Estates #1. Those boundaries, in the archaic language and old street spelling of the Articles, are described below:
...starting at the intersection of Palm and Shaw Avenues; thence east along Shaw Avenue to Maroa Avenue; thence south along Maroa Avenue to Griffith Avenue; thence west along Griffith Avenue to Van Ness Boulevard; thence south along Van Ness Boulevard to the north bank of the Irrigation canal; thence west along the north bank of the canal to the Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe right of way; thence northwesterly along the right of way to Palm Avenue; thence along Palm Avenue to the point of commencement.
It was 1979 when the Articles of Incorporation were amended to change the name of the organization to the Fig Garden Home Owners Association and the current boundaries were established.
Beginning at the Southeast corner of Shaw Avenue and Fruit Avenue; thence South; along the Easterly side of Fruit Avenue to the Santa Fe Railroad; thence along the Northeasterly line of the Santa Fe Railroad to the North line of Garland Avenue; thence Easterly along the North line of Garland Avenue to Van Ness Boulevard; thence along the Westerly line of Van Ness Boulevard to the Southerly line of Herndon Canal; thence Easterly along said south line of Herndon Canal to Wishon Avenue; thence along the West line of Wishon Avenue to Griffith Avenue; thence along the Northerly line of Griffith Avenue to the Westerly line of the Fresno City limits; thence Northerly along the Fresno City limits meandering Northerly and Easterly to the East line of Maroa Avenue; thence Northerly along said Easterly line to a point midway between Ashlan and Swift Avenues; thence Easterly along the Fresno City limits line to the Westerly line of Fresno City limits West of Blackstone Avenue; thence Northerly along said Fresno City limits line to the Southerly line of Shaw Avenue; thence Westerly along said Southerly line of Shaw Avenue to the Easterly line of Fruit Avenue, the point of the beginning. Less and except that portion South of the Southerly line of Shaw Avenue within the commercial zone.
The mission of the Association proposed by our founding fathers in the 1947 included:
"...encouraging, protecting and cooperating in the installation, improvement and maintenance of public facilities and utilities, facilities for sanitation and safety, and facilities for education and recreation in said area by encouraging and promoting the improvement of public and private landscaping, the improvement of county roads, streets and highways in said area, and the adoption of zoning ordinances to improve the quality and character of private property and buildings; by assisting and cooperating in the protection of the persons and property of the residents of said area, the regulation of traffic therein, and by promoting and encouraging the establishment of and maintenance of adequate police measures therefore; and by other means as will tend to promote the general welfare of the community."
The Association has been active in the pursuit of these same goals for more than five decades. The Fig Garden Police Protection District was established within the boundaries of the original neighborhood in 1950 to allow the area to tax itself for its own protection. In 1994 the neighborhood voted overwhelmingly to increase that tax to provide nearly round the clock designated sheriff service within the District. That District still includes only the original boundaries of the Forkner-Giffen subdivision. Recent efforts to expand it to correspond to the wider Association boundaries have stalled. The Fire District and its station on Wishon predate the Association. It was organized to serve the Fig Garden Estates subdivision in the early 40's in response to efforts by the residents.
Unlike the situation in 1947, Old Fig Garden is no longer at the northern edge of the City of Fresno. We are an unincorporated area of the County surrounded by a growing city. As a result of that new status, the challenges to the neighborhood as it ages have changed. Over the years there have been attempts to annex our area into the City of Fresno. On balance, annexation has been regarded by our residents as providing few benefits to the neighborhood; and our members have generally opposed those attempts.
There have also been repeated efforts to alter the zoning designations of property, particularly at the boundaries of the neighborhood and along the more heavily traveled streets. The Association has worked successfully with the County and City to resist commercial incursions and maintain the residential zoning of our area. Increasing traffic through the area has put pressure on our roads. We have faced efforts to widen both Maroa and Ashlan. While recognizing the need to keep traffic moving safely through the area, we have been persuasive in the defense of our attractive, tree-lined two lane roads and the unity of the neighborhood.
Membership in the Association is voluntary. Dues are paid once a year. The organization sends out a newsletter twice a year and holds an annual dinner at the end of each summer. In March of each year there is an annual membership meeting at which time Board members are elected. The Board holds monthly meetings.
This neighborhood maintains its reputation as a very desirable area to buy a home and raise a family. Agreements with Tree Fresno have helped us replace street trees and plant areas that did not have them. In 2000, our membership supported, and County Board of Supervisors enacted, a set of Beautification Ordinances to help us preserve our trees and enforce some minimum urban standards of property maintenance. Cooperation with the Sheriff and the Fire District has enhanced the safety of our residents and property.
The annual Christmas Tree Lane event, which is coordinated by its own Christmas Tree Lane Committee under the auspices of the Association and is entirely funded by voluntary donations, has brought thousands of visitors into the neighborhood to enjoy its unique attractions.
Old Fig Garden continues to be a vibrant, healthy, appealing neighborhood because of the spirit of community and mutual assistance that prompted the formation of the Home Owner's Association more than half a century ago.