First, we have five of five seats filled for the commission again. Council Member Bob Cashman's pick of Dan Bidwell was sworn in.
General business 3.1 Bundy Canyon 38 GPA Initiation Request
According to Planner Matt Bassi, we may be seeing the last of the GPAs (General Plan Amendment) once we get our General Plan done.
Here's a quick run down of how I interpret a GPA.
It's a request by a developer/land owner to change the zoning for a certain area. From what I've gathered, if we were a more established city, that had a General Plan in place, such amendments wouldn't be part of the process. So, in essence, such a request for a GPA at this stage, amounts to nothing more than saying, "sure, make your preliminary plans and get back to us."
All it does is give them the ok to start coming up with details and concepts for a project.
By the Planning Commission "recommending" that the council ok the GPA, it only allows the developer to start with studies and other preliminary work. Unless the developer was suggesting building a combo Sriracha Sauce/Pampers Recycling plant on the playground of one our elementary schools, I'd always vote yes for a GPA.
It's their money (for the studies, et al), and if they want to try and float a lemon of a project on the planning commission, they can be told "no" then. In the meantime, this is still the USA and landowners have rights that need to be respected.
Public speakers on the matter were Gail and George Taylor. Both made fair points about the potential impacts of the project. Which was said to be between 275 and 300 units, on 36 acres on the north side of Bundy Canyon just west of Tulip Lane. We all know that Bundy Canyon is a nightmare in waiting, it's already pretty challenging as it is. Just wait until the Walmart goes in there... Still, I think George may have exaggerated a wee bit when he labeled Wildomar as the High Density [housing] Capital of the World.
Let's face it, this city is in desperate need of apartments and condos, and I don't mean those overpriced ones that are just now opening behind Albertson's off of Clinton Keith Road.
The younger generation is in need of quality housing, that people just starting out can afford.
Those are called apartments... something that is in short supply here. Still, I don't see how "clustering" up to 300 units (still not determined whether rentals or for ownership) would work on that property, especially before Bundy Canyon is improved.
Standard math here tells us that 36 acres divided by 300 units is about 8.3 units per acre... but like the gentleman said, they weren't going to be disturbing the hill in front, and they were going to "cluster" the units in the center.
I've been to this site, it is rather hilly and seems like quite an undertaking. So, they aren't using all 36 acres to build. It seems that they couldn't really even use half of it for building. That means to get the number of units they have in mind, they'd have to double it to about 16 units per acre. I don't know that that is bad, but it sure is a far cry from what's already zoned there, and that's before the traffic considerations.
I still subscribe to the grassy knoll theory when it comes to building in Wildomar. Meaning, that builders/developers know all too well about the sue happy clicque here, and are smart to suggest something that is off the charts and would never be approved. Then they can come back at a later date, with a more modest proposal, something that they had in mind the whole time (wink,wink), and now everyone is happy because the project is more "reasonable".
The vote was 4-1 in favor of recommending that the council approve the GPA (Commissioner Langworthy voting no, though both Commissioners Gary Brown and Dan Bidwell later said they weren't too keen on such a project as this).
The balance of the meeting, was finishing up the General Plan Update from the meeting before. It lasted until past 9:30pm. Ouch! It was interesting, but mind numbing at the same time (no offense, nothing personal).