Monday, January 12, 2015

• Baxter Crossing Scoping Meeting

Tonight was an EIR scoping meeting for a project that is tentatively named Baxter Crossing. I say "tentatively" because last year Mayor Ben Benoit was expressing interest in having Baxter Rd's name changed to something like Wildomar Parkway Click here for a video of it.  It would be kind of funny to name a place such as this after a street that no longer has that name, so we'll have to see how that one goes.

A view of the project with the surrounding areas showing.

The project, as it is currently configured, is comprised of 70,000sf of commercial retail. With four sit down restaurants included in the mix. Also, in the north east part of the project will be 204 apartments that go up to three stories. Last in the Multiuse Project (MUPA) is 70 houses.

Pardon me if I'm not overly excited about 204 apartments that are stacked three high and abut the freeway... especially if they come with similar rental price tags as the other new apartments in town have. Those things cost more than a typical mortgage, and hundreds more a month to rent than a typical house. Places well out of reach of the local youth looking for their first place, yet wanting to stay local.

Keep in mind that the new Wal-Mart is supposed to be 200,000sf by itself. Yes, that's a Supercenter but the 70,000sf that is proposed here is barely a third of that. Maybe there is a way to lose 25 of the houses, and 80 of the apartments and put a bit more retail in there.

Oh, I also didn't see any public park area in there either.
A detailed look at the project design.

In this image you can see where the deadly Baxter Rd/Central Ave jackknife will be smoothed out a bit. The dotted line represents the existing road as it stands today. The road is going to need to be better aligned no matter which project goes in due to safety and traffic concerns.

Bad news locals that live where Baxter becomes a dirt road... you won't be able to fly off the paved road at full speed, kicking up clouds of dust anymore.

The Brown house has been factored into the designs of the new retail development. After speaking to a few members of Wildomar's Historical Society I was a bit more swayed into it's value for the city. Like John Lloyd and George Cambero were remarking, the house was built long before there were ADA guidelines, and the house will need to be brought fully up to code. It will look beautiful when rehabbed.

That was in response to my concerns that I would hate to see a less than beautiful building sandwiched into a new shopping area.

The key question with the Brown House is about funding. Where will the money come from for the refurbishment? It's currently owned by Wildomar Historical Society and they have plans to fundraise to pay for the costs.

If you have questions or concerns about this project you can contact City Planner Matt Bassi.

Matthew BassiPlanning Director
Phone: 951-677-7751  x 213

The final day to submit questions for the EIR is Jan 19th, but he can discuss the details any time. He prefers email as the best method of communication.

There are several more steps for this project this year alone, with a bigger meeting set for sometime in the fall. In the meantime, those that use the area as an Off-Road Park will still have free rein out there. Being at the north end of Windsong we can hear the sound of the action just like it was a scene from that '70s classic movie On Any Sunday.

Take a look at the Mock TV Ad I made for it.

Though I refer to Wildomar's historic Brown House as a Haunted House in the video above, I'm 95% sure it isn't actually haunted... even though it's been at its current location for nine years now and those window coverings are da bomb! ☺
•      •       

Try some more. The strawberries taste like strawberries, and the snozzberries taste like snozzberries.

Snozzberries? Who ever heard of a snozzberry?

*We* are the music makers... and *we* are the dreamers of dreams. 
—Willy Wonka to Veruca Salt


  1. This sounds like a terrible idea. No way that off ramp can handle the traffic & im not looking forward to having to drive through that nightmare to get to the freeway from my house.

    1. You make a solid point about the traffic. I can't imagine how it's to be done without three stoplights put in. One at the entrance, and one at each freeway on/off ramp. This was just the first step. There will be more meetings on this, and you can come and speak in person or send an email with your concerns.

  2. Interesting just how nimby people are. I wonder how many against these sorts of projects live in tract houses where you measure your yard in inches!

    1. Nimbyism is rampant everywhere these days. It'll be interesting to see what happens as this project continues down the lane.

  3. Goodbye, cute, quaint, county-like sweet Wildomar!, this sounds like a terrible idea!!

    1. Your voice is important to the process. Be sure to email your concerns to Matt Bassi and the council.

  4. Oak Springs Ranch apartments have been open for a while and are having trouble filling their vacancies. Half of the apartments remain empty.

    More apartments sounds like a GREAT idea!

    1. I can't imagine why anyone would want an apartment in Wildomar at the prices they are being offered at. Though I haven't heard directly from the management company, I've heard that they are 90% full... which seems hard to believe to me.

      Still, I think that actual affordable housing, like most communities have, would be a good thing for those wanting to live in the area but can't afford a house. To me, that would mean the rents would need to be about half of what they are advertised for.

  5. Affordable apartments do sound great. Of course every project can't result in as lovely a place as windsong.( Eye roll). All the talk about Baxter makes me laugh because of all the complaints I have heard about the stop signs at that exit not being needed.

    1. I guess it depends on which direction you're driving on Baxter and at what time of day. The first eastbound stop sign really makes a mess of things in the morning hours. My wild guess is that there is no more than 1 car going west for every 15 or 20 cars going east most of the AM hours. A light at both ends will make it much better... but that'll be forever and a day from now.

      Thanks for commenting.

  6. When is this project suppose to be completed? I'm sure many would agree that NOW would be a great time to buy in Wildomar, huh? Lots going on.

    1. If this project gets approval from the Planning Commission and City Council later this year, they most likely will be sued and that could take two years of litigation to sort out. So, start time on construction is probably years away.


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