Thursday, March 30, 2017

• Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez in Wildomar

Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez held one of her community coffees at Wildomar VFW Post 1508. The room was packed with her constituents, as she fielded questions on a variety of topics.
Panoramic shots always seem to make crowds look smaller than they were. The room had two aisles of six chairs that went back about ten rows, and many people only had standing room spots.

She started off by honoring local veteran Ron Larsen on his 75th birthday. 

He's a local in the Windsong neighborhood, and many of us know him as the kind man that can be seen walking with a large sunhat and sunglasses, and often accompanied by his friend, and Wildomar resident Kevin Jon Sax.
Ron Larsen is flanked by Assemblywoman Melendez, and Wildomar Mayor Tim Walker as Kevin Jon Sax snaps some pictures of the occasion.
Next was recognition of the Vietnam Veterans Day. 

With a certificate from the city and a plaque from the Assemblywoman thanking all veterans for their sacrifice for our country, the sacrifices their families made and for their love of our country. 

Mayor Walker got a bit choked up when presenting the certificate, and that's why I admire this man. He's real, he's genuine. 

"I'm not a veteran, so I salute you guys for doing your job and protecting us.... thank you."
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, Steve Regalado, and Mayor Tim Walker.
From here she went over some current legislation. Bills that she has introduced, bills that she finds troublesome, and other bills that she likes.

She fielded all sorts of questions, ranging from Russian hacking, why she didn't support last year's tobacco tax, Governor Brown's bullet train, the recently proposed vehicle taxes, the talk about having California secede from the union and several others.

What I have to admire about her is that she treats all the questions, including the dumb ones, seriously. 

It's not a regular thing that an elected official cares enough to meet the community as often as she does. I suggest that you get on her mailing list and plan to attend one of her upcoming coffees.

To finish up the evening, she recognized two groups for outstanding work in the community. 

Michelle's House that helps with those battling cancer, and Operation Prom Girl that helps underprivileged teenage girls obtain dresses for the prom.
From left to right: Dawn Schultz, Michelle Wallis, Mary Martinez, and Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez.
•          •          •

If you want a quality, act as if you already had it. Try the "as if" technique.

– William James 1842 –1910

Wildomar Rap tip of the day: You don't have to say "as if" when trying the "as if" technique..

• City Council Special Meeting Prop 64 Workshop

This meeting was dealing with the future of medical marijuana dispensaries, private and commercial cultivation and recreational marijuana dispensaries in Wildomar.

Thinking this was going to be an overflow crowd I showed up 50 minutes early to get my usual seat. Then about 10 minutes went by and the next person to show up was regular Kenny Mayes, followed by the self stylized "President of Wildomar" Ryan Filar.

We all watched the clock tick off the minutes and there still wasn't another soul there even at 6:15pm, fifteen minutes till show time. 

Finally people started trickling in, and by the start of the meeting there might have been 75% of the seats filled. A far cry from when this issue came before the council back in 2010.

Comparing the crowd at this special meeting to the crowd at the recent community meeting at Sycamore Academy, about a proposed town home development, tells me that most people are not opposed to marijuana dispensaries in town any more, and as you get deeper into the blog, you'll hear some of the council members remark on it. 

Of that, a large contingent was from outside of Wildomar, there to participate in what was originally billed as a workshop. Though it was actually a standard city council meeting. 
The crux of the meeting was about deciding whether or not to prohibit or regulate marijuana.

There was a lengthy presentation by Stephen McEwen, working on marijuana issues for about nine years for various cities throughout California, starting with Laguna Woods back in 2008. He outlined the rest of his resume in the opening parts of the video I've included. 

His presentation was very informative, starting with the basics of Prop 64. 
• Was approved by the voters on November 8th, 2016. It legalizes the non medical use of marijuana, by people 21 years of age and over.
• Legalizes personal cultivation of up to six marijuana plants.

Some of his comments that I noted include:
• Prop 64 preserves local control over marijuana businesses. It allows cities to make decisions as to what land uses they think are appropriate.
• Prop 64 took effect on November 8th [2016]. This is not a situation where it's going to take effect at some point in the future. It's in effect right now.

Personal Use
• 21 years of age or older, is the basic limitation.
• [It's] legal under both state and local law to possess, process, transport, purchase, obtain, or give away 28.5 grams of non concentrated cannabis, or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.
• It is lawful, under state and local law, for individuals 21 years of age or older to smoke or ingest marijuana or marijuana products.

Exceptions to Prop 64
• No smoking or ingesting marijuana in a public place.
• No smoking marijuana where smoking tobacco is prohibited.
• No smoking marijuana near 1000 feet of a school, daycare or youth center while children are present.

State Licensing
• All non medical marijuana businesses must have a state license. 
• The licenses are only good for one year. 
• A state license cannot be issued to any applicant whose operation would violate the provision on any local ordinance.
• You can't prohibit the use of public roads for the transportation or delivery of marijuana through your city. You can prohibit marijuana deliveries from either originating or terminating in the city.
The two options came down to "should we?" or "shouldn't we?"

Federal Issues

• It's a big unknown at this point. It is still a crime under federal law to operate a marijuana establishment, as it is still listed as a Schedule 1 Substance that is illegal for all purposes under federal law. Regardless what the state says regarding marijuana establishments, it will remain illegal under federal law. 

• We have a new presidential administration that seems to be giving hints that it's going to take a different strategy with regards to legal recreational marijuana in the eight states that have [legalized it]. 

"My best guess is that the federal government will probably not touch medical marijuana, but I think it's 50-50 whether they do something with regard to recreational marijuana."

• Generally speaking, this is an all cash business and that's because under federal money laundering laws, it's a crime to channel funds from a drug trafficking activity to the banking system.

Cultivation
• Under Prop 64 the city cannot prohibit indoor cultivation  (up to six plants). More than six plants they will be subject to the state licensing requirements.
• The city can prohibit outdoor cultivation.
• The people that are cultivating [more than six plants] will have to get state licenses, and they may also run themselves into legal trouble if they cultivate too much, or if they're distributing.

Deliveries
• Nothing in Prop 64 suggests that a city can't prohibit a dispensary from delivering in the city.

• Some cities have prohibited recreational marijuana deliveries while allowing deliveries of medical marijuana.
•          •          •

Questions from the council to Stephen McEwen included issues of zoning for growing by Marsha Swanson. A follow up question was:

"Is there anything we can do with the ones that are currently growing here?"

"Currently growing? Well, they'd be in violation of local existing zoning ordinance. It would be a matter of council direction whether they want those places to shut down until the city has made a decision. There's a moratorium right now against any cultivation with the exception of the indoor six plants or less."

Councilmember Dustin Nigg made a comment regarding enforcement, "Based on the way that it's written, that we can't restrict the use of public roads, can we realistically enforce 'no delivery'?"

"I think it would be challenging," was the answer from Mr. McEwen.

A particularly salient point from Stephen McEwen was about taxing marijuana. 

When these [marijuana] laws were being promoted... one of the big lures was taxes. I've often heard people come to city council meetings and say, "Let's allow them, and really tax the heck out of them and make a ton of money."

The problem is that if you tax something like marijuana, when you're trying to bring it out of the black market, [if] you put the tax to high, it will have the effect of pushing it back into the black market.

Mr. McEwan's time in front of the council finished up by answering some questions about taxation. For those details, check out the video.


Public Comments
I counted 12 people that spoke in front of the council. I'll list them in order and use red or green colored fonts as to their position.

Ryan Filar, Ken Mayes, Ian Armstrong, Gina Castanon, Terry Wilson, Brent BermannVeronica Langworthy, Steven Rubell, Kristin West, Bill Kaufman, Arnold Mathias, Michael Johnson and Toni Russo.

Something that has to be said about that sea of green above is that most of those people don't live in Wildomar, and many are from quite a long distance from here.

It was pretty obvious that Big Weed got the word out, and packed the house. That said, there was hardly a peep from the prohibition crowd. 

There were some emails that were sent in that were against legalizing dispensaries, but it's not as if they were deluged with them. I counted five against and four in favor... that from a city of 35,000 people.

If you watch the video, you'll see how well prepared the pro side was. Even the guy that couldn't find a comb made some solid points for creating ordinances that would allow and regulate marijuana businesses.

The most compelling public speaker was Toni Russo, mother of a daughter that survived a near drowning incident when she was a toddler and now lives on a ventilator. She talked about an oil that is derived from cannabis that has helped with her daughter's seizures. 

Council Comments

This part of the meeting got a little heated at one point. Mayor Tim Walker allowed the audience to get under his skin as he shushed them and said, "We already had public comments, this is about us now, we're talking among ourselves, we're giving you our advice..."  
.
Just like I'd give the disclaimer that I've never tried marijuana, I'll also give the disclaimer that I like Tim Walker and think he does a good job representing the city. 

That said, when someone goes off the rails a bit, and I allow personal feelings to interfere with this blog, especially on a weighty issue like this one, that's the day I have to chuck it all in.

For about seven minutes he spelled out his thoughts and feelings on the issue of dispensaries in Wildomar. 

This is textbook level stuff on why council members are counseled to NOT get into exchanges with the audience.

Meetings like this have always brought out people that try to goad officials into reactions. Couple that with the way recent congressional "town halls" have brought out people intent on disrupting them, and one would have thought that a pre-meeting strategy would have been gone over, urging the members to maintain their integrity, literally biting their tongue if necessary, and to not take any bait set out by the audience.

I'm going to transcribe the highlights of each council member. I urge you to watch the first several minutes of the video, even if you don't want to watch the entire 35 minutes. Though I personally like the mayor, this has to be shared.

Mayor Tim Walker comments
• [About a dispensary] opening up in our city. I got elected on that in 2010, whether people like it or not, that's what I got elected on, to stop the dispensary that was coming. 

• They are already delivering it into our city, why would I care? I honestly don't care. Medical marijuana? I'm not involved; it's not my problem. That people need it, that's great, and I can see the benefits, I've heard about the benefits. So my personal opinion is, as far as a dispensary store in our city, I'm not for it. I never will be for it. 

• ...if you have a medical marijuana dispensary in your town, I don't think it's necessary. There's enough of them right around us, there's some in Elsinore, there's some on Grand Avenue. They're all over the place already. They're already opened.
From the crowd two people remarked, "They're illegal."
It has nothing to do with me. I'm not sitting in those cities. I'm sitting in this city.

• [A]s far as a storefront in our city, I'm against it. It's just that simple. That's where I stand, and until the feds change the rule, and it's not a class 1, and the congress decides to change that rule, then that's great, then we (the council) can vote on that. 
The point about "the feds" is a legit point, as mentioned by Stephen McEwen in the first part of the meeting.

I think this kind of an issue, for the city to think because 52% of the people [voted in favor of Prop 64, they should approve it], no, I think it should be more like taxes. If you're going to set up here, and change something this drastically in our city, it should be a 66% vote. 
Tim, I get that, but elected officials, especially on the city level, are there to guide the city with the existing laws. Though you may feel that it should be a 66% vote, doesn't negate state law on the matter. It only takes a simple majority, no matter how that might not sit well with you.

• Medical marijuana, I've never had a problem with it. It's not about me, it's about her (pointing to Toni Russo's daughter) and it's about the patients that need it. Whether I agree with it or not has nothing to do with anything. Just in our city, dispensaries are a negative. 

• (While discussing a dispensary that tried to come in illegally on Clinton Keith) [E]verybody says, "You need to regulate." No, we don't need to regulate. It already comes into the city. It already can come into the city with drivers. Why do we need to add that to something else the city of Wildomar needs to deal with, and have money going out of our pockets to try to deal with all those [issues]?
From the crowd, "Because you won't get any taxes."
Hey, listen, we already talked about that.

• I don't see the benefit, for my constituents, that live in this city. If we're going to make this kind of drastic move, then it needs to be the 66% vote, and it needs to be a city election in order to do it. That's my personal opinion. I think that would be more applicable than us five people deciding what we're going to do or not.
I wholeheartedly agree that it should be on the November ballot. The thing is, it will only take a 50% plus one to make it happen. That will be the time to put a pot tax on the ballot too, but if you make it a special tax, that will require a 66% vote, an amount difficult to attain. Wouldn't it be a shame if we inadvertently voted down an increase to city revenues due to shortsightedness?

• It doesn't say anywhere in that law that we have to allow a dispensary in our city. We have the right to stop the dispensaries. That's the issue with me. Whether 53% [voted for Prop 64 or not], we'll put it back on the ballot, and say "Ok folks, you want a dispensary? You come up and put your name on the line, if you get over 50%, then you can have a dispensary in your town.
This is a good idea, and I think that such a thing should be the main focus of the council on the issue of dispensaries in Wildomar.

At this point the audience applauded his suggestion of a ballot measure, which seemed to rattle him a bit. I'll pick back up where he starts addressing them.

• You can shake your head all you want back there, because I know who you are. Just keep shaking your head, because now I'm getting irritated because I have to see it. Unfortunately, I wish there was a blank curtain for you to sit [behind], and I wouldn't have to see what you're saying or doing.
This brought the audience to life, with chants of "open government" among other things.

This is where Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit took the reins.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ben Benoit comments
• Tim mentioned the fact that seven years ago this was a very different environment, when we got elected. Things have changed a lot as I look at this. The amount of people that showed up for that meeting, for my planning commission meeting, and the city council meeting after that, were almost 100, if not more. I'm looking at how many showed up tonight and it's amazing, the difference.   

• Six years ago when this was voted on by the public, it was on medical marijuana, and it failed in this city. Now here we are, years later, and recreational use passed. I believe those are very big differences, and things we can't just ignore as elected officials for this city.

• I'm firmly [on the] side that we need to go down that path [to a ballot measure], we need to have those discussions, and I'd hope we could have more decorum and not go into shouting matches in the future. Because that doesn't get us anywhere, we need to have discussions about this.
At this, the crowd began to applaud, but Benoit admonished them:
Hold on, ladies and gentlemen, when I'm mayor I don't allow that, and I don't think we should. If you want to say "that" (he gave a double thumbs up) ok great, but we don't need the outbursts and we don't need the yelling and screaming, thank you.

Marsha Swanson comments
• I'm willing to look at it, I'm willing to see how it will look. It's just a lot to take in all in one night.  

• Nobody wants to stop the medical use... but you seem to be able to get what you need already.  I'm not where Tim is, and I'm not where Ben is, I'm somewhere in the middle.

• I'd like to see us compared to other cities our size, if they're in another state or wherever, and the cost to us. If we have to put something on the ballot that's going to cost us. 

Dustin Nigg comments
• I'll preface this with I've never tried marijuana, I've never smoked it, chewed it, eaten it, whatever. I wouldn't know how to grow it. I made a bunch of notes, I'll just go down them real quick:

  1. I agree with one of the comments that it's easier to marijuana right now than it is to get beer or cigarettes (if you're a minor).
  2. It's been illegal and people have still done it. 
  3. The voters approved it.
  4. I'm more in favor of treating marijuana like alcohol and cigarettes. It's here already. 
  5. I have three daughters, I'd rather it be harder for them to get [by regulating it].
Bridgette Moore comments
• (Referencing something Councilmember Nigg had brought earlier) Actually I'm not for a subcommittee, I think it's too important, I think all five of us need to be there. 

• When I was mayor in 2010 this came up on the agenda, and at that time the residents were not for it —the majority of the residents were not for it. But I agree with Ben that the tide is changing, and it's something that we can look further into. It doesn't mean we're saying "yes" it just says we're looking into all the different information. I'm still concerned with the federal issues. I think we have a lot more questions still... we need more workshops.

• (Responding to councilmember Swanson) Having an ordinance can say how many [dispensaries are allowed], what the taxes are going to be, put it on the ballot and let the voters decide. 
I agree that there are a lot more questions still to be asked and answered. However, now that the offer —even the very mention— of a ballot measure has been brought up... that's what needs to come.


The way I see it is this. Anyone that has done some research on the legality of marijuana/cannabis knows that it only became illegal with the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which came with some very dubious reasoning behind it.

If you're unaware of the history, check out this link at drugpolicy.org.

The drug has ALWAYS been here, and now that it's legal, it's REALLY here. 

Allow me to make an analogy. 

Instead of marijuana being the issue, let's say it's speeding in cars. We hate speeders (when it isn't us) and so we try to construct laws (that get ignored) to try and curb it. 

We want to ban cars altogether, because if there are no cars, there can't be any speeders either. Thing is, we don't have the authority to ban cars, so now we look to ban things associated with cars. We ban auto dealerships (oops, we don't have any of those here. So let's say 'gas stations' instead), auto repair shops, and tire shops.

That'll teach those speeders (weed users). Oh wait, no it won't. They'll just go to another city and get their weekly fill up on gas, and periodic maintenance done in another city (buy their product and paraphernalia),and leave the commerce and tax dollars there too.

It's folly of the first order to try and tell law abiding adults what they can and cannot do on this level. If you don't like it, by all means, don't use it. That policy has worked like a charm for me since day one that I implemented it.

Look for this to be coming back to the council in the form of another special meeting in the not too distant future. 

There was some talk about an existing dispensary on Clinton Keith (which was in a previous blog: link to it). I went past it the other day and it sure appeared to be shuttered, as the sign looked to have been scraped off.

•          •          •

"In the last analysis, our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves."
Bernard Baruch 1870-1965

Wildomar Rap is all about self discipline, but draws the line at hair shirts and self-flagellation.

Monday, March 27, 2017

• Community Meeting

A lively community meeting was held at the multipurpose room at Sycamore Academy. 

The topic was the proposed development of 163 single family condos at the city line between Wildomar and Murrieta where Washington curves into Palomar.
In the graphic above you can see the project in question, another project to the west that is slated to encircle the SDA church, along with the proposed 3-way stop sign where Palomar will meet up with Jefferson (the orange circle). Eventually the sign would be a signal.

This had been discussed at the social media site called Nextdoor. I had jokingly tossed it out there that if I were to make a betting line on how many people were going to show up, I'd place the over/under at 7 people.

Was I ever wrong. 

I counted 43 people, though most appeared to be residents of Murrieta. In addition to the audience members, there were also about 6 members of the developer's team. The key members of that were Larry Markham and property owner Bill Lo.
Before the meeting started people were looking at several exhibits.

This is still in the early stages so there's no point into getting into the proposed details of the project beyond 163 units. This will be coming to the planning commission next week.

What I can tell you is that this meeting was attended by many concerned people that weren't ready to have that many town homes so close to their neighborhood.
Developer Bill Lo listens patiently to resident Pete Kee as Larry Markham looks on.
At times the meeting was a little out of order where people were talking over each other, other times there were four to five people trying to talk at once. 

Hey folks, I'm about a mile and a half from this project, and so it won't really be affecting me. But if you can stomach a nickle's worth of free advice allow me to suggest that you get your ducks in a row and leave the emotion, comedy and pot shots from the crowd at home if you want to be taken seriously.

The homes that are in the area directly adjacent to the project were built back in the 20th century, and the original concept was that a similar track of single family homes would go where Camelia is slated to go.

Yes, things change, but that doesn't mean the locals are going to be happy about it. I'm sure if such a situation were being proposed a few feet from me I'd be right there rattling the saber of legal action too.

The thing is, though this is higher density housing than what's near it, it's not a bunch of apartments. The price point for these is starting over $300K.

No matter how you slice it, that is NOT low income housing. 

This is the very type of project that is needed in the city of Wildomar. I have no position here, but if you're against it, you're going to have to come with something more than what smacks of nimbyism and class warfare.

One thing that I was detecting was an air of superiority from the Murrietans. If you expect your grievances to be taken seriously by the officials in Wildomar, you'd better stow that garbage post haste.

Over the din I heard one man say:

We'd prefer not to have any project, but if we were to have one it would be rural residential.

The next planning commission meeting looks to be a lively affair indeed.

Oh, I almost forgot two things I thought were worth mentioning. 

First was the complaint by some that attended about the notices for the project/meeting being addressed only to the women.

I doubt that is true, and Larry Markham said as much when he told the crowd that the mailing addresses came directly from the tax rolls. Still, what difference does it make if it was sent to the womenfolk?

I guess the rest of the assembled didn't hear it the way I did, but that only told me how little the men that complained thought of their wives. 

One guy said something like, "You sent the notices to the women and they're just going to throw it out like it's junk mail." (Insinuating that it was a ploy on the part of the developers hoping that it would go unheeded).

Not sure what kind of women are in Murrieta, but them is fightin' words in W'mar.

Lastly, why do people go out of their way to attend an important community meeting, just to proceed with loud private conversations among themselves?

By talking to the person in the next seat while the presenter is talking means you aren't hearing what you ostensibly came to learn. Plus it means you're distracting those near you. 

•          •          •

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.

– Epictetus 55-135 AD



Wildomar Rap tip of the day:
In public settings, where decorum is a must, tape your mouth shut if you don't have sufficient self control to accomplish the task unaided.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

• Twofer Youth Night in Wildomar

The Elks Lodge and Wildomar Little League showed their community spirit with two events.

What do you do when there are two worthy events scheduled for the same time about a mile and a half apart? Attend both of course. ☺

The Elks Lodge held their 18th annual scholarship dinner, where thirteen local youths received college scholarships that totaled more than $10,000.

The funds are raised at the Elks annual Christmas Tree Lane event.

The names of the Elks Ladies Scholarship winners are Reina De Young, Destinee Davis, Jordan Castello, Jordyn Strange, Megan Carter, Brianna Gorham-Moran.
Lake Elsinore-Wildomar Elks Ladies Scholarship winners.



The names of the Elks Scholarship winners are Jolie Anderson, Shayan Khan,  Dylan Dickerson, Ashely Arrucha, Sydney Southwick and Justin Dela Cruz.
Lake Elsinore-Wildomar Elks Scholarship winners.
From left to right: Elks Exalted Ruler Gary Brown, Jolie Anderson, Shayan Khan, Dylan Dickerson, Ashley Arrucha, Sydney Southwick, Justin Dela Cruz, and Patty Quick.

How inspiring it was to watch our future leaders accept scholarships to help them with their schooling, and watch them all tell about their future plans.

From aspirations to teach at the local high schools, to chemical engineering, it was quite a sight watching them beam with enthusiasm as they told the audience of their future dreams.
All the Elks 2017 scholarship recipients.
In the audience were LEUSD Assistant Superintendent Kip Meyer, Stan Crippen LEUSD board member (and grandfather of one of the winners), Lake Elsinore City Councilmember Daryl Hickman and Wildomar City Councilmember Bridgette Moore.

•      •      •

About a mile and a half to the southeast, there was a casino night fundraiser taking place to help fund the local Little League's season.

It was a packed house over at the Corporate Room as the people enjoyed a full evening of fun, and dinner, for the entry fee of $25. There were blackjack tables, roulette, craps, and other poker games to be found too.
The raffle table had at least a dozen different things to win.

The league, in it's fourth year back, is sowing the seeds for a great league for years to come. 

This year's TOC (Tournament of Champions) will be in Wildomar. Marna O'Brien Park will be the spot for many high caliber games throughout June and July. 
Bridgette Moore did the honors of pulling the numerous winning raffle tickets.


•          •          •

I have to tell you, I'm proudest of my life off the court. There will always be great basketball players who bounce that little round ball, but my proudest moments are affecting people's lives, effecting change, being a role model in the community.
– Magic Johnson

Wildomar Rap tip of the day: 
Bouncing a ball is fine, but helping others bounce the ball is even better.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

• Planning Commission Meeting March 2017

The meeting started with the swearing in of new planning commissioner Michele Thomas, appointed last year by then new councilmember Dustin Nigg. The oath was administered by city clerk, Debbie Lee.


Surprisingly there were no public comments. I say surprisingly because over at the social media site called nextdoor.com there was a lot of excitement about a proposed project called Camelia Townhouse Project, 163 townhouses on the border of Wildomar and Murrieta on the east side of Palomar. 

There will be a community workshop at 6pm, Monday March 27th, at Sycamore Academy if people want to hear about it in the early stages.

2.1 Bundy Canyon Resort Apartment Project
This came to the planning commission in April of 2016, here's a blog link to it


The take away from this item is that the developer wants to put in 140 apartment units tucked away, mostly out of sight, off of Bundy Canyon. The site is 28.8 acres, and according to Larry Markham, 17 of those acres will be "open space". 

Ten of those acres were promised to be left natural, and they aren't removing any of the existing oak trees. 

There was some wrangling over the looks of the apartments, and the carports (whether or not to have solar on them). It sure sounded like the developers wanted the solar, but commissioner John Lloyd thought they weren't too attractive. 

Which brought the head honcho, Richard Darling, to the mic. Obviously a businessman that just wants to get his project moving forward as he said, "We can go back to shingles (on the carports), I'm not tied into solar. [...] Truth of the matter is, whatever the commission wants to do, I'm ok with."

Kenny Mayes brought up an interesting point, one that I thought had been cleared up last year: the Measure Z tax and multi unit projects like this.

A quick refresher, Measure Z is a PARCEL tax, and everyone in Wildomar with a parcel, pays $28 per year towards park maintenance. 

Last year it was suggested that some projects were only paying $28 total, even though there were hundreds of units involved.  Then it was explained by Assistant City Manager Dan York, that they do pay their park tax, just collected differently.

As it turns out, that only applies to condos for sale, not apartments that are rented out. 

Why is that?

I remember a conversation with a council member last year and it was explained to me. There is a difference between a parcel tax and other such taxes. At the time, the prevailing opinions were for a parcel tax, nothing that might smell like a Mello-Roos tax, and that's why we have what we have.

Just know that this project, with 140 units, will be paying $28 per year towards parks, IN TOTAL. Let's do the math...
If you own a home in Wildomar, you'll be chipping in the same amount of money to the Measure Z fund as ALL 140 families in the "RESORT" apartments slated for Bundy Canyon.

I'm guessing that the parks could use the extra money over that ten year time frame (which happens to repeat every ten years). Make no mistake about it, that resort apartment complex, will be charging top dollar to live there.

Based on current rates, there won't be a single unit in there that goes for less than $1500 (more like $1800 to $2200), but let's pretend that they only rent those places for $1000 a month. (STOP LAUGHING!!!) 

This should be looked at by the Wildomar City Council that needs every dollar it can get. This is the case with all the apartments in town. 

2.2 Sign Ordinance
This was a follow up to a request by the city council to have uniform signage at construction sites, and when such signage should be displayed, alerting the public to any public hearings about it.
This is a sample of what you'll be seeing in front of future developments.

Such signs will serve as a notification for public hearings, at least two weeks before meetings in question.

3.1 Capital Improvement Programs
This was by far the most relevant part of the meeting for the average Wildomartino. This item covered the various major projects (road improvements) in the city.

Key notes included:
• Sedco sidewalk project

• Almond St sidewalk project
• Bundy Canyon road improvements
• Grand Avenue bike lanes and multi use trails 
• Malaga Road/Mission Trail park project

The first 10 minutes of the video are packed with a lot of good information. If the projects mentioned above are important to you, give it a listen. 



Public Comments
• Kenny Mayes (at the 25:10 mark of the video) discussed wheel chair access to both Windsong Park and weekend access to the cemetery. 

3.3 Election of New Planning Commissioner Officers
The end result is that Stan Smith is taking another term as Chairman, and John Lloyd will be taking on the Vice Chair position.

What I don't get is that John Lloyd only got a vote of 4-1 in the process. It's not as if anyone else wanted the position, but outgoing Chair Veronica Langworthy chose to thumbs down the Lloyd nomination anyway, after she had nominated both of the new commissioners in attempts to block Lloyd from the position. 

I just find such nay votes to snag at the fabric of what needs to be a cohesive group. What could possibly have been the point in doing that? 

Obviously nothing that had to do with John Lloyd's time as a commissioner or his ability to do the job. C'est la vie.



The last bit of news was that the Westpark Promenade project was sued on January 16th, the last day to file, but it has already been settled out of court.

It was from the awkwardly named Golden State Environmental Justice Alliance, but they sure are efficient at settling lawsuits. I wonder if any money was involved?


The Nova Homes project, which is 77 condos on the east side of George St, was sued this week. (This is where the whole Measure Z loophole started... for me anyway.)  My guess is that it will be settled too... after a fist full of greenbacks change hands that is.

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"Poor Mr. Baxter. Too ambitious to be honest, and too timid to be crooked."
– from CBSRMT "The Head of a Pin" 1981

Wildomar Rap tip of the day:
Don't get your tips from local blogs.

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