Friday, April 8, 2016

• Planning Commission Meeting April 2016

This meeting had a lot of apartment talk in it, but it started off with a zoning ordinance amendment that ended up getting tabled.

Agenda Item 2.2 was more house cleaning necessary for the city to further distance itself from the county, plus clarify a few things. 

The existing ordinance was put together by the county and it was time to update it. This ordinance deals with events that are held in the city. 

The current document separates events into two categories: major events (more than 2000 people) and minor events (between 200 and 2000 people). 

They are being consolidated into the single term: temporary event.

Also being added to the language is Farmer's Markets.

The key hangup, that required the item to be tabled, was the hours of operation. At the moment, an event can run four consecutive days from the hours of 6:00am to 2:00am. 

I know that some areas have festivals that seem to go on all day and all night, Coachella Music Festival comes to mind, but I doubt that anything like that has ever even been proposed in Wildomar.

A special subcommittee, comprised of commissioners Stan Smith and John Lloyd, will sit down with city staffers to hammer out their proposals for any changes. Then it'll go back to the full planning commission, and finally onto the full city council.

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Agenda item 3.1, was a "study session" for a proposed project that will be off of Bundy Canyon, just north of the coming Walmart. 

The project proposes to develop all 140 units in a “cluster-style” design on approximately 10.5 acres of the 28.8 acre site. 

The project is still at the early stages and will need a full EIR (Environmental Impact Report). 

A common thread of concern was that the project was going to be apartments instead of townhouses/condos. 

Some of the units will be stacked three high, but it'll mostly be hidden from general view, and the only impact that will be felt from such a project is the added traffic that Bundy Canyon will be getting.

I just love the marketing departments that these developers use. They're calling these "Resort Apartments." 

Unless this is going to be some type of time share, who's fooling who here? Well, it will be gate guarded, so I guess that counts for something.

The above is an artist's rendition of the "Resort" apartments, but I  added the titles at the bottom. The word "Resort" was used to describe the project during the planning commission meeting.
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3.2 Standrod General Plan Initiation Request (GPIP) 
This is very early on in the planning stages. What they are looking to do is have the zoning changed from 1 unit per acre to 12 units per acre.

A proposed General Plan Amendment (GPA) from Very Low Density Residential (VLDR) to High Density Residential (HDR).
Here you see the architect selling his apartments to the planning commission. He told them that it's almost laughable to consider "12 units to the acre" as High Density, because in Huntington Beach it's common to have over 100 units per acre. You can imagine the *thud* that made with most that were in attendance, like a lead balloon hitting the ground in a hurry. 

Though that is a big jump, the argument was that the area in question (see image below) isn't a desirable area for a single family home on a large lot, and that with all the restrictions a builder faces in 21st century California, it's no longer feasible to build small projects.

The proposal from VLDR to HDR desired by the Applicant is needed to accommodate a potential 24 unit multi-family apartment project.
One of the descriptions that I objected to was where they were referring to these apartment projects as ideal for "young families."

When I was first out on my own, an apartment was all that most young people could afford. 

These days, based on the going rates of the new apartment complexes in Wildomar, they cost more to live in than a house in most cases.

The other part that I enjoyed is where George Taylor, long time resident at The Farm, invoked his patented refrain of Wildomar becoming the high density capital of the world.

When it was my turn to speak, I took the opportunity to differ over Wildomar's worthiness of such descriptions.

The short video below (all in good fun) has the isolated portions of both George's and my comments regarding it. George is a good Wildomohican (pronounced Will-Dough-Moe-HE-Ken), but I don't see what he sees on this one.

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Max: Oh, yes, I'm a big music lover. Would you believe that I once listened to three weeks of Beethoven? Would you believe it? Three weeks!
Villain: I find that quite hard to believe.
Max: Would you believe (thinks a while) Two weeks of Bach?
Villain: I don't think so.
Max: Would you believe... one hour of Looney Tunes?

Wildomar Rap is becoming less and less a fan of poorly placed hyperbole.

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