Monday, November 25, 2019

• Bundy Canyon Construction Gets Green Light

Funding will allow construction to start in 2020

Construction is on the way to widen Bundy Canyon Road in Wildomar from two lanes to four lanes, due to the Riverside County Transportation Commission’s allocation of $3.5 million of Measure A revenue last month to the City of Wildomar.
Photo from the RCTC write up. To visit the original source, please follow the link at the bottom of this blog.
The allocation makes up the final portion of funding needed for the $7.9 million project, which will widen the road from Cherry Street to just east of Oak Canyon Drive. 
This project will come in several phases, this update is concerning only from Cherry St to the west, and just beyond Oak Canyon Drive to the east. No word on when the other phases will begin.
The City of Wildomar, Western Riverside Council of Governments, County of Riverside, and other local partners also have contributed funding.

“Improving Bundy Canyon Road has been a high priority for our city, because of increasing traffic volumes and fatal collisions,” said Wildomar City Councilmember and RCTC Commissioner Ben Benoit. “The project will improve east-west travel through our region, reduce traffic congestion, and complement the Interstate 215 Scott Road Interchange Project that the City of Menifee is building now,” he said.

The City of Wildomar expects to advertise and award a construction contractor in the spring for this segment of work. City staff also has identified two additional segments to widen on Bundy Canyon Road and is finalizing right of way acquisition and grant funding for these segments.

Link to RCTC web page with the same info as above... less the map that I made.

The question of ingress and egress from Oak Canyon Drive was asked of me. Last year there was a suggestion that if a resident of that community wanted to head towards the freeway, they'd have to head east first, then do a U-turn.

I asked Wildomar City Engineer, Dan York, if that had been corrected as was discussed at a community meeting last year. 

Hear is the key part of the email exchange: 

Are the people in that neighborhood that want to go to the freeway still going to be required to turn east, and then do a u-turn if they want to head west?   NO

This issue has been addressed on the final improvement plans.  The residents will be able to turn as they currently turn with a protected two-way left turn lane (see below).
It's not the easiest map to read, but if you know the area and the landmarks, you shouldn't have any trouble.

Friday, November 22, 2019

• They're Finally Gone!!!

If you've driven by the T-intersection of Clinton Keith and Inland Valley in the past, you've undoubtedly seen some long standing banner blight... but not anymore
It's all been removed!
I almost couldn't believe my eyes when I didn't see the banners this morning.
This is another step in the right direction when it comes to cleaning up Wildomar. Yes, there are many other things on the list to get to... but, to quote a friend, Rome wasn't built in a day. ☺
A trip down banner nightmare lane.
There is a new temporary sign ordinance that has been in the works since Summer and soon shall get to the planning commission, and then go to the city council for final approval and fully operational in the first quarter of 2020.
Whether it was the sign fairy, all the noncompliant businesses spontaneously choosing to remove their junk at once, or code enforcement that made this happen; THANK YOU!
If you have a business in Wildomar, and you've put up some illegal signs/banners around town, I suggest that you pull them down voluntarily... unless you really want a visit (or worse) from a member of Wildomar's code enforcement.
If you planted a sign on property that you don't own, it's illegal. Please save the code enforcement peeps a trip, and self regulate.
•                •                •

He that is proud of riches is a fool. For if he is exalted above his neighbors because he has more gold, how much inferior is he to a gold mine.
– Jeremy Taylor

Wildomar Rap is the gold mine.
This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

• City Council Meeting November 2019

The meeting began with Mayor Marsha Swanson asking Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez to lead us in the pledge of allegiance.
Apologies for a subpar photo. My camera can be a jerk at times.
The Assemblywoman then spent about five minutes giving a legislative update, warning us to be careful for a pending ballot measure that aims to revise Prop 13. Look for it as soon as the March Primary election.

"If they can change it for commercial [property], the very next thing that's coming is residential. I guarantee you, as sure as I'm standing before you today." 
—Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez
We then had our quarterly police update, complete with several slides (please check this link for all the slides and video).

Wildomar Elementary School update
Principal Michael Hoffman honored two teachers, Roddy St. Yves and Gay St.Yves, who have taught for 34 years and 35 years respectively, at the school.
Mr. Hoffmann salutes Gay and Roddy St.Yves.
Quarterly Library Update (summed up in the image below). Our library is a great community asset, be sure to take advantage of all they have to offer.

Link to Wildomar Library's web page.
Quarterly Code Enforcement Report
If you've been ignoring code enforcement (parking RVs, disabled cars, and other disconnected trailers in the street, or blocking the right of way) I'd suggest remedying it now. You've been warned. 
You're welcome... I made this graphic readable.
3.1 CEQA Negative Declaration Budget for Cannabis Ordinance (1:11:45 in the video)
Here's the skinny on this item. 

Due to a recent California Supreme Court case that mandated San Diego County to include some type of CEQA review in their cannabis ordinances, which was then applied to all other municipalities in the state, Wildomar must do so too.

It's not retroactive, so cities that have already hammered out such an ordinance, like Lake Elsinore, don't have to backtrack and can continue with their exemption if that was the path they took.

This state mandate has added $56,000 to the process. Basically doubling the original budget that had been set at $50,000.

I didn't anticipate there being much discussion on this. Seemed like another typical ding that the state likes to hit local government with... but I was wrong. There were three public comments and then a fair amount of council discussion.
Wildomar Rap Reminder:

This is where being on the city council clips my blogger wings to the bone. In the past I would have quoted all the council members, and pointed out any shortcomings in their arguments. But that style went out the window when nearly 58% voted me to represent them on the dais.

If you're interested in the council discussion, I invite you to watch the video (at the bottom of the blog) beginning at the 1:23:00 mark.
During the public comments, the question of liability came up, "just say no", and "I believe you're doing this because of the money, I don't know what other reason you would consider, and it could bring in a large chunk of money to Wildomar."

When it was my turn to speak I asked for clarification when it came to the issue of liability, Planning Director Matt Bassi answered: 
If the council does end up approving this funding, and we go forward with the negative declaration, just like any other action by council, it can be challenged. It's not a developer driven code amendment, so we would take on the burden of defending it. 
—Matt Bassi Planning Director

This was my response to the question of motivation:

I heard one comment talk about, "It could bring in a sizable chunk of money to Wildomar, are you doing it for the money?"

I want this (commercial cannabis) to be regulated. Currently... the marijuana is already here and it's unregulated. I don't know why people would be in favor of having an unregulated market. 
—Councilmember Joseph Morabito
A survey done nearly two years ago was brought up during a public comment. 

During her public comment, Gina Castanon mentioned that the survey that has been used as the primary reason to keep commercial cannabis banned was, "flawed, in my opinion"

Shortly thereafter, the same survey was used as a key reasoning point for opposing the regulation of cannabis in Wildomar during council discussion.

Opinion Time

The survey was done to see if Measure AA would pass or not (the sales tax increase that was approved by a vote of the people in 2018)

The survey came back with the claims that AA would get 68% of the vote, but in reality, it only got 58% of the vote. Those 10 percentage points equate to being off the mark by 17%. That is a staggering miscalculation in my view.

The same survey asked a handful of questions, to less than one thousand registered Wildomar voters. It came back with 55% saying they were opposed to any commercial cannabis businesses in the city.

If the first part of the survey (about taxes) was wrong by 17%, then can't we assume that the second part was also wrong to one degree or another? 

If it wasn't off by the same 17%, how about a third of that... 5%. Which makes the survey an even split.

That said, since when are major issues decided by a survey of less than 10% of the voters?*** 

Still more arguments against the flawed survey

It only asked registered voters their opinion, not the residents that choose not to register to vote for one reason or another. There are many people that choose NOT to register based on their religious beliefs.

Aren't their opinions important on matters that don't get settled at the ballot box? I sure think so.

How about longtime permanent residents? I won't name any, but for example, before my wife took the oath of citizenship back in 2007, she could not register to vote. 

There was no outreach made to those that cannot register to vote, but are every bit as much a part of our community as the registered voters.

***Due to Brown Act considerations, I will not elaborate on my opinions, in this blog, as to whether the city council should put this measure on the ballot, though I'm certain I did post about this in the past, and believe you me... I'll have both barrels primed if that topic comes to the dais. 
The only other thing from this item that I'll report on was Councilmember Ben Benoit's response to the threat of litigation. 

We have run this council, for a long time, under the threat of lawsuit, and I'm tired of it. I'm tired of hearing that. I'm tired of feeling like we have to only go that one direction because of a lawsuit.
—Councilmember Ben Benoit

Again, I encourage you to watch this item in the video at the bottom of the blog.

3.3 2019 California Building Codes Adoption

For many things a city has no choice in, and one must adopt the edicts of the state. This is one of those. I'm not saying the 2019 building codes are bad, I'm saying there was no choice in the matter. Take a look at my favorite line in the agenda packet: 
Moreover, State law provides that the 2019 Building Codes will take effect in the City even if the City does not adopt this ordinance, as is required by law.
I only added this item to the blog as an illustration of how much (or how little) latitude a city council actually has when it comes to most things.

But buried deep in that item was something I didn't understand being part of "building" in the first place. 

Fun factoid from the agenda packet on this topic, found on page 226 

308.1.6.3 Sky lanterns or similar devices. A person shall not release or cause to be released a sky lantern or similar device. 
Somehow I think that free floating flame driven devices aren't the best thing for our fire prone patch on the planet.
All kidding aside, I can't imagine why this was listed in the 2019 Building Codes.

3.4 Holiday Lights Home Decorating Contest 2019
There are two categories, Traditional and Clark Griswold (meaning: crazy over the top amount of lights, where the electric company really loves you). I'm still waiting for three new categories, Scrooge, Grinch and Al Bundy. ☺☻

See flyer for details. 

•                •                •

It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance, for it requires knowledge to perceive it; and, therefore, he that can perceive it hath it not.
– Jeremy Taylor

Wildomar Rap is among those that can perceive it. Hence, it hath it not. 
This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

Friday, November 15, 2019

• 2019 Third Quarter Police Update

At the November 2019 city council meeting there was a very comprehensive Police Quarterly Update given by Lieutenant Aaron Kent. 
Calls for service went down by 14% from July to September.
I got about 10 screenshots and thought it better that they go into a stand alone blog, so as to not make the city council recap too long, and not leave out any of the slides. 

At the bottom of the blog is a video link so you can hear the report as it was given.
Deputy Carlson was busy.
Those are some pretty low numbers for a city of 36,000 that is bisected by a major freeway.
Burglaries dropped by 66% from July to August.
Non hazard citations is the same as non moving violations (parking tickets)... and hazardous citations are what we used to call "moving violations" (speeding, stop sign running).

The city asks for, and budgets for, 70 patrol hours a day. As you can see, the RSO is having a difficult time getting all those hours filled... due to the continued need to hire more qualified officers.
Deputy McCracken has been chosen as the "HEAP" Deputy. That has to do with the grant our area got to deal with the homeless. More info is in the video.
If you have a facebook page, I highly recommend that you "like" the Lake Elsinore Station page. They have been very good about getting information out, and in a very timely manner.   Link to Facebook Page
Don't delay, sign up today!
Below is the seven minute video.

•                •                •

The best theology is rather a divine life than a divine knowledge.
– Jeremy Taylor

Wildomar Rap isn't devine in any measure of the word, but who really is? 

This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

• RSO Press Release: Illegal Grow House in Wildomar PART 3

Third time's the charm... or, they went for the hat trick.
This is the third grow house popped in about six week's time in Wildomar. Just like the vagrants have been chased away from their favorite panhandling spots in town, so too will these types of neighborhood blights.
Ironically, the house sits just behind the light post that has a new neighborhood watch sign on it.
If ever the phrase there's a new sheriff in town meant something, it's in regards to Sheriff Chad Bianco and his can do approach. He's getting things done where the past administration just said, sorry, I wish I could help, but my hands are tied.

Press Release:Illegal Marijuana Grow Operation

Agency:Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
Station Area:Lake Elsinore
Written Date:November 14, 2019Time:11:00 A.M.
Incident Date:November 14, 2019Time:8:00 A.M.
Incident Location:35000 Block of Fredrick Street. Wildomar
Reporting Officer:Sergeant Glenn Warrington #2506
File Number(s):WI193070014


At the beginning of November, deputies assigned to the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station received complaints regarding possible illegal marijuana cultivation occurring within the city of Wildomar, Riverside County.

On November 14, 2019, deputies served a search warrant in the 35000 block of Fredrick Street. Approximately 900 marijuana plants in various stages of growth were located and collected. In addition, the electrical system within the residence was illegally altered causing a severe fire hazard and theft of utilities. The estimated theft of utilities for the last six months was valued by Edison at approximately $30,000. The entire residence was turned into an illegal marijuana cultivation. There was no one located at the residence.
Wildomar Code Enforcement deemed the house uninhabitable. Edison Company responded out to the residence and turned the power off to the residence due to the illegal wiring throughout the residence.

This is an ongoing investigation.  Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Deputy Carlson at the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station (951) 245-3300.
Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff's CrimeTips online form.

Link to RSO Press Release webpage

Link to September 26th Blog

Monday, November 11, 2019

• Purple Heart Parking Space At Wildomar VFW

Boy Scout Willy Urrutia, of Troop 2011, chose the Wildomar VFW to be the spot for his Eagle Scout project.
Willy Urrutia poses for a pic at the end of a long day. Behind him volunteers are adding detail to the Purple Heart insignia.
The project was to convert the front parking stall to one reserved for combat wounded veterans.

Willy counted over twenty volunteers that have contributed time to this project, something he started a year ago and had spent more than twenty hours putting it together. Not to mention most of the last three weekends.
A look at the rough first pass, before more detail was added.
The key donors to this project were Lowe's and Home Depot, and he mentioned Luanne Vicnaire and Bridgette Moore as being pivotal in getting this project to fruition.

Painting volunteers (Willy Urrutia, Sr., Itzel Urrutia, Isabel Weaver) getting the details right while Hector Pereyra, Joshua Flannery and Luanne Vicnaire look on.
I asked Willy what he's learned during the process.

One key thing that I learned is that not everything has to be so formal. Everything is, honestly, easier than you'd expect. Reaching out helps a lot as well. Reaching out is your key thing out of [the things I've learned]. Reaching out has helped me get volunteers which helped me get my hours up. Reaching out got me all the materials that I needed, and it brought a lot of people together.
—Willy Utturia

A Veteran's Day crowd of about 30 people watched as the new Combat Wounded/Purple Heart parking space was dedicated at VFW Post 1508. 
If all goes well with this parking space, another is planned for Marna O'Brien park. 
•                •                •

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

As soon as you trust Wildomar Rap, you will be ready for a rubber room.

This blog was produced for viewing on a desktop or a laptop. Though it's been optimized for smartphones, the formatting can look odd on a smartphone or if you get this delivered through email (such as missing video links). Link to proper format.

Monday, November 4, 2019

• Just Announced: Wildomar Shooting Range/Academy

Shooting range coming to Wildomar. Location is the southeast corner of Mission Trail and Bundy Canyon. 
Location of shooting range.
Below is the email sent out by the city.

Good Afternoon,
The City has released the Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Wildomar Shooting Range/Academy IS-MND (CUP 19-0093). The 30-day public review period commences on November 05, 2019 and concludes on December 04, 2019.  Please click on the links below to access the IS/MND document.  All comments must be submitted by 5 PM on the December 04, 2019 deadline.

Please contact Matthew Bassi, Planning Director at (951) 677-7751, Ext. 213 for any questions. You can also email him at  

From the CEQA docs

III. PROJECT DESCRIPTION The proposed project includes the construction of a 38-foot tall (at its highest point)), two-story indoor shooting range/academy; the first floor would be 29,286 square feet and the second floor would be 5,503 square feet totaling to 34,789 square feet. 
Artist's rendering. Not sure from which angle.
The first floor of the building would include offices, training and range areas, a lobby, gun smith and storage, shipping and receiving, and the second floor would include classrooms, storage, employee restrooms and lounge area, and VIP lounge and storage. Additionally, a total of 77 parking spaces, including 4 ADA spaces and 1 van accessible space will be provided. 

The proposed building would be located at the southern boundary of the project site. Moreover, the existing vacant residence and associated structures would be demolished. Furthermore, 7,405 square feet of perimeter landscaping would be provided, and a biofiltration basin would be constructed on the northwest corner of the site to treat the required water quality volume for the project site. 

Figure 4, Site Plan, shows a site plan of the proposed improvements. The proposed development plans, including architectural renderings and elevations, are provided in Appendix 1. Upon completion, the project would operate between 9 AM and 10 PM daily, seven days a week.
Buildings in the middle, parking around the perimeter.
Roadway Access and Parking Lot 

The proposed project would provide two vehicular access points to the site, one driveway along Bundy Canyon Road and another driveway at the southwest corner of the site along Mission Trail. The driveway on Mission Trail would be a right-in/right-out only access driveway. 

Additionally, Bundy Canyon Road would be downgraded from six (6) lanes (6) to four (4) lanes along the street frontage of the site. The City Traffic engineer evaluated long-term traffic needs along this road segment and has determined through the traffic study conclusions that a reduction to four (4) lanes is justified. 

Therefore, a General Plan Amendment (GPA) to the Circulation Element is required to accommodate accommodate this change. 
Artist's rendering. Not sure from which angle.
The parking for the proposed project would be along the northern, eastern, and western boundaries of the site, and 77 parking spaces, including 4 ADA spaces and 1 van space would be provided.

Please use the link below to read the entire 102 page document.

Subscribe by Email