Friday, November 13, 2015

• City Council Meeting November 2015

Closed Session
This is usually a short recap, with no real details, of the private meeting between the city council members and the city attorney.

Two items were of note.

Bridges et al v. City of Wildomar and Zareh Hookasian; RSC Case No.RIC1512918

This apparently is another attempt to distort the CEQA protections in order to retard an approved project.

The city council voted unanimously to defend "that litigation matter," in the words of City Attorney Thomas Jex.

The other thing mentioned was the old document dump trick, where at 5:00pm a letter by Wildomar's self appointed watchdog "Threatened Litigation" from the Martha Bridges trio, over the Villa Siena project that was on the evening's agenda.
Look out builders, if you want to cross the BRIDGES be prepared to pay a toll.

I can't imagine what makes people like this tick.

Though it wasn't her group, Wildomar recently had to pay out $200,000 ($120K to the lawyers for AIP, and $80K to pay our own lawyers click this link for those details) so no matter how their cases get settled, you can take it to the bank that it will be costing us money that could otherwise go toward public safety.

Proclamation – Eagle Scout Anthony Ramos

Representatives from four elected officials (US Rep Ken Calvert, State Senator Jeff Stone, Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez and County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries) presented Anthony
Ramos certificates recognizing his new Eagle Scout status and the project he completed to attain it.
Mayor Ben Benoit congratulates Eagle Scout Anthony Ramos as Mayor Pro-Tem Bridgette Moore takes a pic from the dais.

2.1 Allocation of Community Development Block Grant Funds
Every year, the City of Wildomar has the opportunity to apply to the Riverside County Economic Development Agency (EDA) to receive an allocation of Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

This year there were four agencies asking for a piece of the pie. There were $19,622 dollars that Wildomar had to give to charitable organizations. They include The Assistance League, Habitat for Humanity, HOPE, and Merit Housing.

The only group that was present to plead their case was The Assistance League. Though Mayor Pro-Tem Bridgette Moore suggested splitting it among three of the groups. Council Member Marsha Swanson made a strong case for dividing it evenly among only two of them (The Assistance League and HOPE) at $9,811 each.

Merit Housing runs the assisted living place off of S. Pasadena St. I liked Marsha's point that all the people that live there pay to live there. It's not a charity, and if they would consider opening their doors as a cooling station on hot days, then the vote might go differently in the future.

2.2 Villa Sienna Apartment Project
This was already covered in detail when it was before the planning commission last month. Click this link for the details. Those that can't afford the time it takes to click, the thumbnail description is this.

It's a proposed 170 unit apartment project on ten acres at the southeast corner of town. It's also the project mentioned at the top of this blog as having been threatened with legal action.

There was a fun exchange between Planning Director Matt Bassi and Mayor Ben Benoit that seemed to poke fun at the naiveté of the letter writer.

I would like to mention that we did receive a last minute letter from Martha Bridges [et al]. The context of the letter basically says that staff did not adequately address her comments from the draft EIR related to fire protection. We did address the comments but what she wanted to see was references to state fire codes to mitigate fire hazards through compliance with regulations... although those are already required by law. We technically, and legally, do not need to include state mandated ordinances into the conditions of approval. Those codes are already mandated.

At this point Mayor Benoit ask Bassi this question.
Just to clarify further, how many other codes are out there, that they're going to be complying with, that we would not put in the EIR because they know they have to comply with them?

Bassi's response was this.
We have the California Building Code, the plumbing code, the electrical code, zoning code, and with each of those codes there's probably several hundred specific line items that need to be addressed. It's just not appropriate do to that in an EIR. 
Basically sums up the letter writer's lack of acumen rather tidily if you ask me.
Though this seemed to take up an hour, all four resolutions passed 5-0. Now it gets forwarded to the troll [in the above cartoon] to see if she can figure out an angle to sue over or not.


  • The project that will be putting in a left hand turn arrow at Hidden Springs Road at Clinton Keith will start on November 18th and be completed by November 28th.
  • The Freedom Swing will be reinstalled starting November 23rd and completed by December 23rd.
  • Sandbags will be available at the cemetery this Saturday 
  • December 8th, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm there will be another community meeting for the Grand Avenue Bike Lanes and Multi-Purpose Trail. 
•      •       

When you open yourself up to being mocked... you'll probably be mocked.
― Peggy Noonan

Wildomar Rap suggests building your mental acumen up before venturing out into the public arena. Though that has proven to be an anathema to many self appointed activists I've run into.

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