Thursday, October 4, 2018

• Planning Commission Meeting October 2018

Though Cannabis was on the agenda, the real topic of the night was the reincarnation of Spring Meadows Ranch as Wildomar Meadows, adjacent to The Farm. 

A proposed development that has up to 2000 dwellings as of the October 2018 Planning Commission meeting. 
The blue star indicates the location of Wildomar Meadows.
But before we jump into high gear here, this was just a GPIP (General Plan Initiation Proposal). Long ago I came up with a four panel cartoon that attempts to explain what a GPIP is in actuality. 
The way I read it, a General Plan Amendment is where an applicant asks the city to change the General Plan to accommodate their project (the answer will either be a 'yes' or a 'no'). A GPIP is where an applicant asks the city -if they can ask the city- to change the General Plan to accommodate their project.
The idea seems to be to get a sense of the city's thoughts on a proposal (both the planning commission and the city council) before jumping in with both feet and going through an expensive and lengthy ordeal to then get shot down a year or two into the process.
This graphic was from the PowerPoint, please excuse the light reflections.

From the Agenda Packet
DESCRIPTION: The Applicant, Erik Lunde (Wildomar Meadows, LLC) has submitted a GPIP application as part of a proposed/future 792-acre Specific Plan (SP) project. 

The project site is located within the Farm Specific Plan (eastern portion) and is part of Planning Area Nos. 11 – 16. The proposed general plan amendment would change the existing land use designations for the entire project area. 

The current land use designations are as follows: 
     • Estate Density Residential (EDR) – 409 acres; 
     • Very Low Density Residential (VLDR) – 97.4 acres; 
     • Low Density Residential (LDR) – 123.5 acres; 
     • Medium Density Residential (MDR) – 130.5 acres; 
     • Open Space-Recreation (OS-R) – 4.8 acres; 
     • Rural Mountainous (RM) – 26.7 acres; and 

The new land use designations needed to accommodate the specific plan would consist of the following: 
     • Medium Density Residential (MDR) – 234.3 acres; 
     • Medium High Density Residential (MHDR) – 189.7 acres; 
     • Open Space-Conservation Habitat (OS-CH) – 169.1 acres;  
     • Open Space-Recreation (OS-R) – 162.0 acres; and 
     • Open Space-Water (OS-W) – 13.5 acres. 

The developer's representative, Joel Morse, spoke to the commission. He made it clear that this project is at the earliest of stages and that what he'd like to hear from the commission (and later on, the council) is, "Yes, go and explore this further." (Jump to 8:10 mark of video)

There were four public comments 
• George Taylor had borrowed minutes and when he was finished the sizable audience applauded. He made it clear that he wasn't opposed to the project, but wanted to make sure that the concerns of The Farm community were respected along the way. (Jump to 16:00 mark of video)
Wildomar Rap side note

It was nice to see Planning Commission Chair John Lloyd allow George Taylor to finish his prepared statement, even though it went over time by more than 45 seconds. This is a good practice if the speaker isn't rambling, vamping or filibustering.
The next speaker was Planning Commissioner Michele Thomas, who had recused herself from the item and sat in the audience as a resident of Wildomar and The Farm.

• Michele Thomas spoke as a private citizen, supports proposed access to Clinton Keith from Sunset. Concerned about water supplies and waste water. Wants to the project to go through considerable modifications before being approved.
• Ken Mayes touched on the discussed "new fire station" that the applicant mentioned, the proposed southern ingress/egress and the 42 acre park that is currently in the center of the project.
Wildomar Rap opinion time

I was curious about the park too. Is it just going to be a private park, or will it be a city park? It's not as if most people from the west side of Wildomar would use it, but I'd like to know what the thinking is. 
• Bree Plageman was concerned about additional traffic in The Farm community.
The light blue line shows the current route needed to get from The Farm to Ronald Reagan Elementary and the hospital. The green line shows the proposed route that would reduce travel time to many key areas of the city.
As I said at the top of this item, there's no point in getting deep into something that has no real details at this point. The applicant seemed very willing to work with The Farm residents and staff to make this a project everyone could be pleased with.

What I noted was that there was no dedicated areas for retail. 

The project is massive and somewhat landlocked yet they don't have a shopping center with a market and other basic amenities? 

The last time this came around in 2013, there were plans for a small retail area. I'd hope that something akin to that would be part of any massive project such as this. 
•                •                •

Item 2.1 Zoning Ordinance Amendment
This dealt with the prohibition of all things cannabis in the commercial realm. (part of the blame goes to the county for the slow movement on this item)

Back in Spring the council opted to wait for the County's lead on the matter. It was assumed that decisions would have been made by July or August, but the County is still mulling it over. 
"Before you is a code amendment to prohibit all things cannabis. This was a direction given by city council at its last council meeting. The current moratorium ends in December, so this code amendment is needed. [...] Council will be talking about this particular item next year and provide additional direction to staff to either continue with the prohibition or come up with some type of regulations."
—Matt Bassi Planning Director

There were no speakers on this item, but Chair John Lloyd asked, "If we don't pass something, it reverts back to the state standard?" 

To which Assistant City Attorney Erica Vega replied, "Correct."

Planning Director Bassi added, "It leaves us (Wildomar) open to all sorts of issues we don't want to deal with."

Chair Lloyd continued, "I understand that the Mayor and several others are working towards trying to identify if there's a process, but mostly they're relying on the county, and the county is expending tremendous funds and resources trying to research this."

There were two other items on the agenda, both were requests for EOTs (Extension of Time) for projects that were approved before we were a city.

The first was on land located near city hall and the other was at Waite and Cherry. For more details use this link to jump to the 53:45 mark of the video.

•                •                •

Can princes born in palaces be sensible of the misery of those who dwell in cottages?
– Stanislaw Leszczynski

Wildomar Rap wonders the same when it comes to people that have lived on 2+ acre gated estates for 30 years when it comes to understanding life in tract housing.

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