Wednesday, December 17, 2014

• Last City Council Meeting 2014

It started off fun when Mayor Marsha Swanson asked Mrs. Wildomar Rap, Grace Morabito, to lead the way in the pledge. Immediately I got a big cheshire cat grin since Grace was raised in Canada, and though she went through all the classes and became an American many years ago, she doesn't know the words by heart. (Just like none of us know the words to O Canada). ☺

She stammered for a moment then said, "Um, uh, he's going to do it" (pointing to me).

Only two items were on the agenda.

1.1 Subdivision between Laguna Road and Orange Street.

This was in front of the planning commission many months ago. Since the applicant had pretty much met all the requests of the neighboring properties, it sailed through 5-0. One resident, Ruth Turner, still was concerned that run off would affect her house,

I'm very concerned about the process of the drainage. The other developer tried to force all the water over on our side of the street. That's when it was the county. I had to go to the flood control —to the head guy. He said "what, they don't have a permit to do that."

I just want you guys to know that if it's the same developer I will be on him like I was when they built the houses directly across from me; which was on a daily basis.

I just want you to know that I'm going to be watching this project... and I'm old and I'm retired, so I've got the time to do it, and I will do it because I love Wildomar. I thought maybe becoming a city might help us... but the houses got put in under the county.

I also have a letter signed by one of the Supervisors saying that my house will never flood. So if I ever flood, we all have a big problem, and I've got that letter nice and secure in a safe place. That's my big concern, the flood issue and the water... and the traffic.

—Ruth Turner, Wildomar

I could tell that she just wants her property to be respected during the construction phase, as we all would. I'm still not to sure what kind of letter she has, or how it would really turn into the equivalent of one of Wonka's Golden Tickets if her home got flooded... let's just cross our fingers and hope she doesn't feel the need to whip out that document. My guess is that it isn't worth any more than the Publisher's Clearing House notice declaring a person to be a millionaire.

City Engineer Dan York added:

Maybe I can just bring closure to this. Public Works is working with Ms. Turner. She's got a low flow Arizona Crossing that's near her driveway. She's shared some of her concerns, and some of the things that have occurred downstream. We're passing that onto our code enforcement officer. It's something that has happened on private property.

As far as this development, there is nothing in this development that would impact the location of her house. (Speaking to her directly) You're far enough away that this development will not impact you. We very carefully reviewed all the engineering on this.

Since I'm a big proponent in Occam's Razor, I went up to Dan York after the meeting and asked him some basic questions.

Q: Is the concern about natural water, like rain, or if a neighbor leaves a hose on?
A: (a look that represented "Are you serious"?)
Q: If it's rain, isn't the same rain already coming down now, and how are ten houses going to cause more runoff than already occurs?

There are issues in the area with drainage, but it seems to be on private property, and where people have backfilled some ditches/culverts and now the water isn't going where it was planned. Time for a visit from Keith Ross, Wildomar's code enforcement officer.

1.2 Bids for Almond Street sidewalk.

Since the project was within 400 feet of Ben Benoit's home, he recused himself while the discussion went on.

The sidewalk is going on the west side of the street. They've already started coordinating with the high school and and other projects that are on Bundy.

It passed easily 4-0.

Final comments went to Council Member Bridgette Moore:
I just wanted to say real quick, this is Marsha's last meeting as mayor, (turning to her) you did a great job this year. Congratulations.

To which she said, "Thank you", then adjourned the meeting.

•      •       

That really is my trademark. Day to day, week in, week out. If something happens and the crowd roars, I shut up. —Vin Scully


  1. Joseph, I always look forward to your latest posting. Consistently informative, and filled with with much appreciated wit. I notice you did not include an answer to your second question to Mr. York. Here is mine. In general, when you develop previously undeveloped parcels, the resulting roof tops, driveways, roads, sidewalks, patios, pool decks, etc proportionally reduce the parcels ability to absorb rainfall, hence more runoff. R, Monty

    1. Good points Monty,

      You could probably tell that I only asked it to use it as a springboard to get to my already drawn conclusion. :)

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. The argument about the runoff forgets to mention that new construction adds gutters and drains. In many cases it better channels the water than the natural layout of the land did.


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