Thoughts on the City Council meeting.
The meeting started with 2013's mayor, Tim Walker, handing the gavel over to 2014's mayor, Marsha Swanson. Recognition and a plaque for Van Wilfinger who had been serving the city in the Building Safety & Inspection Department since day one back in 2008. Followed by one of Wildomar's boys soccer teams getting recognition for a successful season.
Public Comments were opened up and Thayla Barrett spoke first and discussed her concerns with traffic, specifically speeders, in The Farm development. Dena Piraino, also from The Farm, spoke about the same concerns. William Barrett, added to the topic of speeders and those that fail to stop at stop signs in The Farm and said, "We're even willing to reach into our own pockets, to offset the costs, of what it would take to install speed bumps."
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- Metioned attending RTA meeting,
- PTA meeting at EHS,
- Attended the Regional Family, Youth and Health Task Force,
- The parks subcommittee meeting from the night before. The fence at Windsong will be on the agenda of the February 12th city council meeting.
- Mentioned a local scout looking to make Eagle Scout with the project of rehabbing the dog park at Heritage Park.
- Also mentioned that she attended the Blue Light Ceremony, which honors fallen officers, at the Riverside County Administration building.
- Reminded people about Wildomar Little League, and having last chance sign ups this Saturday at the ball field near the cemetery... then she actually referred to Wildomar Rap for spotlighting local businesses. (Thanks!)
- Attended an Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District meeting, and discussed the worsening conditions of the draught we're heading into.
- Spoke of the RCA [Riverside Conservation Authority] and being asked to be on the executive committee.
- He discussed the HERO Program. For those that aren't familiar, click the following link: Riverside County Hero Program.
- Spoke of the RCTC [Riverside County Transportation Commission], CMAQ [Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement ] funds used for the bike lanes on Grand.
- Met with a Murrieta Creek Trails group, discussing the potential trail that would go from Temecula to Lake Elsinore.
- Also attended a League of Cities meeting in Coachella.
- Spoke about Bob Devine and being really happy with the work he'd done as a long time planning commissioner. That "he was always detailed... for the way I am." "He had to... with his job increase...he was unable to do both —work and be a planning commissioner. Some of us... we do work."
- Spoke of attending and conducting the Parks Subcommittee meeting.
- Spoke of the Student of the Month through the school district.
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It was a long meeting, so here are the highlights that I took from it.
First up is Bob Cashman on Agenda Item 1.10
I do have a discussion on this. I don't believe that this housing element is correct in regard to what the future of the city should look like, and I'm very concerned about several parts of it... including its location in an environmentally... some of the project is located... some of the parcels are located in an environmentally sensitive area. I can't even understand why we would be considering apartments in those areas, others are on Clinton Keith. To me, Clinton Keith is a business corridor, and I don't see where high density apartments are a logical thing. I know we have to meet the housing element, but I don't think that these choices were good choices, and I think... the reason I think this happened is because we tried to use one plan. Take one sort of designation and say, "Oh well, all these parcels because they were... for some other reason... designated a certain way... that they're going to be the ones we use because it's a simple way to do it." So anyway I intend to vote against portions of this housing plan just like I had done at the first hearing.
Look, who am I to question Bob Cashman? I'm just some guy that hasn't even reached 50 yet, and I certainly haven't put in an iota of the time he has with Wildomar, but somehow he just doesn't get it on this one.
No one in Wildomar desires to see these MUPA overlays. Such "one size fits all" makes ZERO sense here, in a place that has been around since the late 1800's. Our city is already mapped out, and NOTHING will be changing the way it is —even if it were for the better. The die has already been cast, and the roads have been paved (except Lost Rd that is, but that's another story).
Thing is, these are not the desires of any Wildomartian, these are the edicts from on high in Sac-to. Did you miss the part about this housing element being approved and now we're on the 8 year cycle and not the 4 year cycle? You also have to know that 'final approval', of any project, would have to come before the council. Those MUPA overlay areas, don't have any approved projects on them (I don't even know if there are any proposed projects for them either). You said that they are in areas that aren't good. Where are the places that you'd like them in instead? You're a council member that disagrees with the majority, I hope it's not too big of a leap to think you have a better plan... so where are your choices for the state mandated MUPA overlays to go, and why weren't they adopted?
On Agenda Item 2.2 Development Impact Fee Study there was some confusion by some wording that came in late. In the end, the wording that would have allowed a 50% reduction in the fee increase (yeah, I know talk about a headache) was defeated 4-1 with the lone nay going to Ben Benoit.
We all hate taxes and we all hate fees. Thing is, without them, we'd be living in lean-to laden wasteland where Mel Gibson would be looking to siphon out the last few drops of petrol from your John Deere riding mower. Marsha Swanson mentioned that the current fees, not counting DIF fees, are between $40k-$50 per home.
[I just redacted my own comment about such taxes and fees... this is a 'family show' afterall]
So, though we hate taxes and fees, if there is new development, it makes sense that those moving into the area, are adding to the kitty, not subtracting from it.
We don't need to be the bargain basement of SWRivCo.
Pony up with the cash, or go build in Blythe.
The other two parts of the meeting that I took notes on were about the grass in the parks and a new Planning Commissioner.
There were some fair concerns raised about planting grass at the onset of a drought. No one can predict the weather, outside of a couple of weeks, but our current dry conditions are a real issue. Hydroseeding is scheduled for mid February. With parks being up to full speed, ready for heavy foot traffic —like soccer, within three months. But if we have a persistent drought, we may be forced to turn the water off to the parks even with measure Z money at the ready.
The idea of synthetic turf was brought up. Personally, I would rather have dead grass with patches of thorns in it, before having astroturf. It is well documented to be very hot in the Summer, to cause injury and harbor bacteria and pathogens. There are plenty of hits to be had on a google search of pathogens and synthetic turf.
Here's a link that gives the pros and cons of synthetic turf.
Another interesting factoid about synthetic turf, besides it making Dave Concepción a hall of fame shortstop, is that it costs about $7 per square foot to install, whereas hydroseed is 5¢ per sf. I just wonder how long dog pee sits on it before it finally evaporates?
Last bit of news is that there were eight applications handed in for the vacant Planning Commission post. Marsha Swanson selected Gary Brown. I have met him several times. The first time at the David Soto search. The second time at the CERT training courses, and the last time at the Breakfast with Santa event. He's a longtime Wildomar resident and has a good head on his shoulder. I look forward to chatting with him next time we cross paths.
There is still one more empty seat on the Planning Commission. Bob Cashman will be making the selection for the remaining spot. I'm openly cheering for someone under 45. I think we have the old guard contingent covered and now let's think about getting the perspective that some new blood would bring.
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