|Left to right, Jessi Taylor, Richard Heil, George Taylor, Bob Cashman, Bridgette Moore, Tim Walker, Joseph Morabito.|
The first noteworthy tidbit was item 1.8 referring to the recent grand jury report that revolved around commission vacancies not being properly posted, which was an utter waste of the Grand Jury's time... and that of everyone else connected with it.
In the video below you'll see Kenny Mayes get into full finger-wag mode, then see Joseph Morabito get a bit sarcastic as he (I) reminds the city they're being watched like a hawk, followed up by a thorough debunking of the entire brouhaha by Mayor Pro-Tem Tim Walker and final remarks by Mayor Bridgette Moore.
Councilmember Bob Cashman requested that Item 3.1 be bumped up.
This is where the council approved his nomination for new planning commissioner; long time resident, Sidney York. He should be sworn in at the next planning commission meeting, along with Kim Strong, and we'll be back up to a full five member commission again.
Item 2.5 Baxter Village/Brown House
Most of the meeting was taken up with this item.
It dealt with the mixed use development called Baxter Village, which is going in at the vacant field near the freeway where the Brown House has been sitting for the past ten and half years.
There were two presentations, one by planning director Matt Bassi, the other by Eric Flodine representing Strata Equity Group (the developers). Those lasted about half an hour and the public comments lasted about that long too, there were ten.
A couple only mentioned the actual mixed use project of 66 houses, 204 apartments and 70,000sf of retail. Whereas the rest of the energy seemed to be spent on the fate of the Brown House.
It was very apparent that the developer wanted this to work out well, including a newly refurbished Brown House in the mix, but wasn't willing to have the project delayed by the Historical Society's lack of funding.
It's really rather generous that the land for the Brown House, in a brand new retail area, would just be given to the Wildomar Historical Society in the first place.
I'm all for making an agreement with the historical society, and we will reach an agreement, but we can't be expected to delay the development of our project if we can't reach an agreement. If the heads can't come together with a mutually agreed solution, we can't have a non-agreement result in the delay of the project.
Eric Flodine, Strata Equity Group
[As] president of the historical society I want to preserve some of the history, but also reality is it goes back down to money. We're working, as best as we can, trying to find some financial [assistance]. It could be grants it could be anything.
If we can do something that would represent the Brown House, that would be fine. We're not willing to pay $359,000, or $500,000, it's just way too much for us.
I understand what he's asking (Eric Flodine), prior to regradation he wants to have something done between the Historical Society and the Strata Group between now and six months. We may have something (an agreement) in thirty days.
George Cambero, President of the Wildomar Historical Society
In the end, the four resolutions, and one ordinance, found within item 2.5 were voted in with 5-0 counts each.
It was good to see that the parties involved are working towards a solution. The deadline to decide the Brown House's future as part of Baxter Village is January 13, 2017 (six months from the July city council meeting).
Still, Baxter Village isn't out of the woods yet. They've already been hit with letters from some environmentalist lawyers representing something with the ridiculous moniker of SoCal Environmental Justice Alliance (SCEJA?).
They even did one of those old fashioned document dumps too, where just hours before the meeting, they brought more letters to city hall. Usually that is the foreplay to a coming lawsuit. I guess we'll soon find out.
Such things weren't unforeseen, but still vexing nonetheless.
• • •Contrary to how it looked, Councilmember Ben Benoit was in attendance... with a Skype hookup while he was on vacation and it went off seamlessly, and cost the city nothing.
• • •
"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."
— Samuel Adams, 1722-1803
Wildomar Rap is no fan of the stultifying ramblings of over zealous souls, that talk about the mutagenic properties of diesel fuel... as if they don't depend on the trucking industry to live. The only thing I found to be genotoxic was their bullshelly that was being spewed from the podium.