Monday, August 7, 2017

• Camelia Townhouse Project Slated For Next City Council Meeting

What started off as a throw away item back at the first of the year, has snowballed its way to the city council agenda; leaving an interesting wake in its path. 

Though it doesn't make sense on the surface, it's definitely gotten more people to take a look than any other thing that has hit Wildomar during the four years that I've been watching closely. 

Far more than the Prop 64 issue, and dwarfs the numbers of interested residents when we switched from open seat to district based city council elections.

The next biggest crowd I can remember was when Walmart was being discussed, and it's fair to say that a considerable chunk of that audience was only there because of the free pizza they'd been fed by the applicant. 

Set your sundials to 6:30pm Wednesday, August 9th and prepare yourself for an overflow crowd. 
The city council chambers are where the red arrow indicates. This is at southernmost part of the Albertson's shopping center off of Clinton Keith. As you can see, there isn't a lot of parking available. Most times you can roll up at the last second and get a seat. That isn't going to happen at this meeting. It's anticipated that there will be many people outside, listening from a PA system.

Contrary to a false report (that will be detailed in a moment) it's NOT a "special agenda meeting". It's a regular city council meeting, on the regular day they occur, but let's not allow facts to cloud the preferred narrative a small group of malcontents are pushing.

If this is your first visit to Wildomar Rap, you may not know what Camelia Townhouse project is. The proposed development, which fits into the long standing general plan of the city —even long before Wildomar or Murrieta were incorporated, is 163 unit, gated townhouse/condo community on the city line with Murrieta where Palomar St runs into Washington Ave.

I've written a semester's worth of opinion on this project since I first heard about it back in February. If you need more of the backstory, click the Camelia Townhouse Project tags at the bottom of this blog.

I started off against the original project for several reasons. Among my reasons were: 

  • Too close to the existing homes in the subdivision called Grizzly Ridge. 
  • Palomar St will be a bottleneck/traffic nightmare in the making.

Point one: I saw the hyper-proximity as an unnecessary and unfair intrusion upon the people in Grizzly Ridge. The developer has since come back with several revisions which push the buildings far back off the wall compared to what was first discussed.

Also, since those early days of the Camelia Project, I've learned what is and what is not in play when it comes to the demands that cities can legally levy against a developer. Homes looking over other homes (especially in a hilly area) simply isn't one of them.

Point two: Improvement of Palomar hasn't been addressed to my liking. More important than a traffic light (instead of a stop sign) is how Palomar-Jefferson road would go from four lanes down to two lanes, and back up to four lanes... all within a mile of the Clinton Keith intersection, and passing right in front of a Pre-K through 8th grade school.
There are two projects currently working their way through the system.
Single family homes on the west side of the street and condos on the east side.
The orange circle represents where the three roads will meet.

I've done a blog where I spoke with the city Planning Director Matt Bassi, and asked him many salient questions on the matter. That was in an effort to tamp down the disinformation campaign being pushed from a ragtag group that call themselves Warriors of Wildomar. (link to said blog) 

A few days later I wrote a blog on the opposition to this project. It was rather scathing at times even though I'm also against the proposed development. 

I find that both prominent prongs of the opposition seem to be trying to out Munchhausen the old Baron himself. 

In plain English, they've been exaggerating considerably. 

Some of the things that were said by public speakers during city meetings were laugh out loud funny... except they were all delivered with straight faces. 

Normally, that would be the end of this blog... see you Wednesday evening. However, to borrow a line from Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafore: Things are seldom what they seem.

Another misleading flyer/handbill/postcard was distributed to some residents of Wildomar and I thought we should review that here.

Neither the front, nor the back gives information about who wrote this or who paid for it to be produced and mailed. It's 6"x11" and I'm guessing it's more than free to produce and distribute. 
Did the Warriors of Wildomar change their name or is this a new group? Hey, I've heard that many great bands have gone through many trial names before sticking with their final version. The Beatles used to be The Quarrymen and Jethro Tull supposedly had a new name every week until the last one stuck.

Who would be spending anywhere from several hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars on this? Is it really one elderly widow doing this? (Man, I could really get lost in the rabbit hole trying to unravel the mystery that propels such a person... but I have a life.)

Let's take a closer look at it. The lies are underlined in red and you tell me what you think the green underline may represent.

This mailer was riddled with grammatical errors. If this was a comment on the internet, that would be different, we're all tired of the grammar nazis that are quick to point out where a person opted for the incorrect "they're, there or their." 

But this isn't an internet comment and I think it's fair to expect someone that wants to be taken seriously to publish things as error free as possible. No one is perfect on that front, especially this blog, but I go back and reread each blog several times before accepting it as final. Credibility starts with the first impression, and can be lost over trivial things. Why should anyone take someone more seriously than they represent themselves to be?

Lie number one: suggesting that this is a special agenda meeting. As Trump would say: WRONG.

It's just a regular meeting folks. We've had plenty of special city council meetings. I can recall when we were forced to adopt city council districts, and recently the ones dealing with Prop 64. This ain't one of 'em.

Lie number 2: Saying that approving this will "open the door to similar high density multi-family dwellings along Palomar St." 

First, go look at the general plan, and you'll see what will eventually come to town (assuming that land owners want to develop their property that is).  

It's been made crystal clear what can and can't come in along that area... and that's not even taking into account the fact that there aren't many open tracts of land there to begin with.

Lie 2.1 is saying this is "high density". It may be splitting hairs in the eyes of some, but it's clearly medium high density, and not even at the high water mark of what's allowed in that category.
Ten points listed, so I'll comment on all ten. I'll transcribe the above to make reading a bit easier (including the original nonstandard capitalization).

1. Is Palomar Street at our border with Murrieta the best use of our rural properties to put a high-density development that does not have close access to freeways, shopping or entertainment?
1: As my grandpappy would say, "who is this 'we'? Do y'all have a mouse in yer back pocket or sumpin?" Seriously, how deranged must you be to suggest that other people's land is "our rural property"? 

Wildomar doesn't own it, it's not "ours". Is this a suggestion that the city of Wildomar make an offer to purchase it? If so, after we own it, then what should we do with it?

2. This development will extend Jefferson ave., a 4 Lane road, To Connect to Palomar Street, a 2 lane road, Washington avenue a 4 Lane road, also feeds into 2 lane Palomar street causing massive traffic jams thru Wildomar.
2: Well said, I agree. this is the only point that will actually matter in the long run. Though, the suggestion that "massive traffic jams throughout Wildomar" is preposterous. 

3. Jefferson, Washington, and Palomar/mission trail will be the alternate route for the interstate 15 freeway. 
3: Hello McFly, it already is. The app called WAZE has sent me (as a passenger mind you) that exact path two out of the last four Saturdays on the way to San Diego. People are going to use side streets whether the road is improved or not.

We already have a lot of people in SoCal (well beyond our quaint little hamlet) that are clogging the roads. You can't really expect them to stay on the 15 just because they've hit the W.

4. Is one law enforcement officer per night shift enough to protect our lives and property?
4: Looks like someone majored in straw man arguments. What does our police coverage, which is already in the works to being beefed up since Governor Moonbeam returned our stolen money, have to do with this? 

5. Is Palomar Street safe enough and maintained enough to handle a huge influx in cars & trucks?
5: Didn't we already discuss how the road conditions on Palomar St are the keys here? We need the infrastructure in place before, not after.

6. What will the financial impact be on our local streets, police fire & safety services?
6: This is another of those kitchen sink points. Just make a lot of noise while waving your hands in the air and it will attract attention, use everything including the kitchen sink if necessary. 
Those questions are asked —and answered, with everything that comes before the city. Call your council member if you have questions, don't look for such things on the internet or in a poorly written flyer mailed to your home that doesn't clearly tell you what group is sponsoring it.

7. Do you worry about future population, safety, traffic, quality of life and overcrowding of our school system?
7: I worry about a lot of things, but I usually consult the prayer of serenity, then see if it's something that I can change or not. We all would love to turn the clock back to a time when California had half its current population, but that's not ever happening. 

People keep making more people (like we're xerox machines or something) and when those little bundles of joy grow up, they're going to need a place of their own... so they can start the whole vicious cycle over again. That means more
places to live. 

8. Did you know that the zoning map means nothing to our elected officials?
8: Here's one of the outright lies. Seriously, it either takes a heap load of temerity, or heavy doses of stupidity to speak for people that you've never spoken to on the matter. But I'm willing to be corrected here. Produce the tape of our elected officials saying that the zoning map means nothing to them and I'll do a full retraction, and a curtsy just for good measure.

But let's pretend that the writer of those words was on the other side of the curtain in the confessional when our elected officials spewed their disdain for the zoning map.

(This is another McFly moment, please revisit the movieclip above if necessary) 

There are two different maps, and the differences were gone over in detail in the blog with the Planning Director. Anyone still pushing this angle here is intentionally trying to play on other people's lack of awareness. 

The General Plan establishes the land use, the zoning establishes how you develop the site. It's development standards such as setbacks, building height, parking, landscaping, where the roads should go internally.

9. Do you still want Wildomar to have a rural atmosphere?
9: "Still"? 

That implies there ever was a time...doesn't it?

There are indeed patches of "rural" still in Wildomar, but it's disingenuous to try and lump in undeveloped land, that has been used as a dumping ground for years, as if it's some pastoral heritage spot. 

Just for fun, I googled "rural" to get some general images of such places. I then looked through my collection of Wildomar snapshots for "rural" themes and I didn't get exact matches.
The lower right pic is where Camelia is proposed to be built, taken in the Spring.
Which 2018 calendar do you want to find stuffed into your stocking this year?
Can you identify the actual spots in Wildomar?

10. Do you want our elected officials to turn Wildomar into another Murrieta or Temecula?
10: Where was it EVER suggested that anyone, much less the elected officials, have been aiming to do any such thing? Shall we categorize this as a whopper or just an innocent fib?

BTW, When did people switch from saying, "we don't want to be another Orange County" to our cousin cities to the south?

Hey Warrior, if we were going to be like another city/area is it ok if I don't want it to be like Lakeland Village, Home Gardens, Hemet, etc? 

Face facts, even if it was the stated goal of every Wildomar man, woman and child to be exactly like Murrieta and Temecula it would never happen, EVER. The die was cast long ago when it came to the area now known as Wildomar, and there is no undoing it, so stop pretending it's even a remote possibility... especially when it's the furthest thing from reality.

This is the story that just doesn't end. 

Funny thing is, I'm placing even odds that Wednesday won't be the day of decision either. Remember the preferred trick known as a document dump

That's when those trying to muck up the works serve their lawsuit moments before the meeting starts. We're about due for another one of those. 

Many seasoned city council watchers are fully expecting some lawsuit or another that would scuttle the item until the developer could have his legal people look it over. 
Though I haven't heard any of the details, it's understood that the developers have made several revisions to the plans to accommodate the concerns of the residents in Grizzly Ridge. I'll be interested to see what they include. 

If the changes are legit, and really address the key concerns of the Murrieta group, I have to wonder how many will still read from a prepared script, possibly mentioning things no longer relevant, when they get their two minutes at the microphone. 

We'll find out in a matter of days. 

In the meantime, I'm loving all the reports my friends send my way of the endless futzing that is done over my blog. 
This was part of a group email among them.
That is outstanding. It's such a natural... how is it that I didn't come up with that years ago?
Hat's off to the warriors... ya got me good. 

Last I checked, WR isn't required reading. If you're reading this, it's because you want to. That some people can't focus on anything past this Camelia issue is as comical as it is pathetic. 
Case in point
Taken from about 150 in the air above Casa de W'Rap looking to the east.

I posted an interesting view of the hills to the east of Wildomar at my WR facebook page, and instead of thumbs up, I got oddball references to the Camelia Townhouse project. 

Below is a screen capture of an odd exchange that showed up on the photo. The thread picks up midway through. If you need to see it in its entirety, follow this link.

Though my wife recently got into a big rollover accident near the Baxter off ramp (thankfully she managed to walk away from it and no other cars were involved) I didn't need that wake up call to remind me to focus on what really matters in life. 
Four strangers stopped to assist my wife.

Seriously, getting bent out of shape because people have differing opinions is the least important reason to start getting angry. 

Even if their contrary opinions are based on half truths and blatant lies like the ones in the mailer above?

Yes, even if...

Do your own research (when it comes to everything) and don't put your faith in random postcards that do not tell you who is the author, have no return address, nor do they back up their emotion rooted silliness. 

Unless... you're that person that believes everything they read.
If you're not laughing your ass off at Honest Abe's quote,
then you might just be a Warrior from Wildomar.

•          •          •

"Always keep an open mind. Like me, for example, I don't really like the theater but I'm going to give it a shot."
– Abraham Lincoln

Wildomar Rap reminds the McFlys of the world that the above quote is also fake. 


  1. "Too close to the existing homes in the subdivision called Grizzly Ridge.
    Palomar St will be a bottleneck/traffic nightmare in the making."

    I think the issue of too close to the homes is one of those Nimby moments. If you look at the Stonehurst tract it built homes right up to a property that I am sure loved their rural (really rural feel) place before stonehurst. Or even the Grizzly ridge area- have you seen the house on the hill that has several acres and where he once had a very rural feel is now surrounded by tracts? or even at the edge of windsong there are properties now surrounded by tracts that lost that "rural feeling" long ago. Many other such examples abound in the area. Certainly the few grizzly ridge people that butt up against this property have been fortunate but they don't get more rights than others.
    Palomar traffic is rightly a concern but not because of the school- I mean look at WE or the school in the windsong tract or david a brown or canyon hils middle school or any other school. Traffic is always an issue, which the school districts seem to avoid. Certainly Sycamore knew that was a main road when they built there. I think the T-stop is a big problem but certainly no worse than other issues in our area. I would hope that this complex has addressed the parking problems that come with many of these place.
    If this was a request for a general plan change I would be adamantly opposed but it isn't. I am also disgusted with: the disinformation; lies; hysteria; attacks on council members, planning commission members, individuals (like myself) who express opinions in favor of the project; and the faux caring about Wildomar from Murrieta residents who only care about, literally, their own backyards. Additionally as you wrote in another blog- some of those against this project are aligning themselves with Wildomar residents who are less than truthful and less than caring about the community. It is hard to take them seriously when they do that.
    I hope to attend tonight but not sure that I have the patience to sit through 2 hours of people living in tracts bemoaning the loss of rural lifestyle. I only have so much patience for double-standards.

    1. Well reasoned and well stated. I can't quibble with any of it, but would like to comment on the Sycamore Academy angle. Indeed they knew it was a busy road before they bought the property, but the safety of those using the road at the drop off and pick up times of day concern me. Be it the students/parents, those in Stonehurst (and other locals) or just average commuters. Something has to be done there to make the process easier on everyone. I hope it wouldn't come down to a traffic signal at the school, but I'm sure that would make things a lot safer for those times of day.

      The key difference with Sycamore and WE is that left turns are illegal at WE, whereas a considerable number of people exiting Sycamore are turning left.


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