Tuesday, February 21, 2006
COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN MENIFEE VALLEY
Development could bring retail, restaurants and aquatic center to Menifee
By: BRIAN ECKHOUSE - Staff Writer - THE CALIFORNIAN
SUN CITY ---- A proposal to commercially develop a large tract of land fronting Interstate 215 just south of Newport Road would not only bring much needed large retail stores and restaurants to Menifee Valley, but could improve its chances to incorporate as a city, 3rd District Supervisor Jeff Stone told an audience of 130 on Wednesday night. In addition to two or three big box stores ---- possibly including a Home Depot ---- the 750,000-square-foot project, proposed the development firm, Donahue Schreiber, could have an aquatic center plus nine acres devoted to a town hall.
"We're trying to get a regional aquatic center," said Verne Lauritzen, Stone's chief of staff, in an interview during Wednesday's meeting. "We'd like to get an Olympic-size pool, but we're not sure we're going to be able to accomplish that."Webb Hall in Sun City hosted the meeting of the Menifee Valley Municipal Advisory Council, a five-member board appointed by Stone, who was the event's keynote speaker. Lauritzen said Stone hoped the pool at the aquatic center, which would be paid for by the developer, would have at least 9 to 14 lanes."That way, we could use it for some (local) clubs," he said. If a deal between the county and Donahue Schreiber can be reached, the development would boost sales and property tax dollars that could help the valley in its bid to incorporate. State law says a new city cannot be established if it hurts its home county financially. Unless there is a significant increase in its tax revenue base, Menifee Valley, including Sun City, would lack the financial base it would need as a city to pay for police and fire protection along with daily operating costs, according to a 2005 comprehensive financial analysis of the area conducted by consultant Economic & Planning Systems of Berkeley.
Currently, there are few big retail stores and supermarkets in the valley."We'd really accomplish two things: development (area residents) need, and provide facilities for the community," Lauritzen said of the proposed commercial development. "It's a huge, huge major project." Stone, who said he was "shocked" by the condition of Sun City's roads, also promised to have about a quarter of them repaved this year. He joked that there were "gardens" growing in some of the community's roads. The repavement project could cost $3 million, he said.
Other matters discussed at Wednesday night's meeting included the tending of abandoned buildings in Sun City and the status of Project LIFT, a Quail Valley-based center for low-income families. Resident Roald Schroeder of Sun City complained that abandoned buildings at Encanto Drive and McCall Boulevard have become a dumping ground. Stone said the county would clean it up.As for Project LIFT ---- which founder Rita Peters figured would be forced to close due to financial difficulties ---- Stone said he is optimistic the county could use community development block grant funds to buy the 2.1-acre site LIFT has leased. If a deal can be reached between the county and the Long Beach-based property owners, LIFT would be saved from closure, Stone said.
Contact staff writer Brian Eckhouse at (951) 676-4315, Ext. 2626, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHY BOTHER DEVELOPING THESE COMMERCIAL AND DOZENS OF NEW RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS IN THE MENIFEE VALLEY IF YOU CAN'T GET THERE, JEFF STONE??? WHEN BUILDER "PARDEE" STARTED THEIR MONSTER DEVELOPMENT IN LAKE ELSINORE "CANYON HILLS" IN 1990, THEY WERE REQUIRED TO DEVELOP RAILROAD CANYON ROAD FROM A RURAL TWO LANE ROAD TO A 4+/- LANE ROAD. COTTONWOOD CANYON IS RUINED FOREVER NOW WITH ALL THE BORING, OVERPRICED KB HOMES/PARDEE HOMES THAT ALL LOOK THE SAME.
AND NOW........... ANOTHER DEVELOPER WANTS TO ADD TO THE MADNESS, AND DEVELOP 260+ ACRES TO ADD TO THE CANYON HILLS DEVELOPMENT, AND TO THE CITY OF LAKE ELSINORE. GO AHEAD CITY OF LAKE ELSINORE, AND COUNTY OF RIVERSIDE - KISS KISS KISS UP TO THE DEVELOPER!!! YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT THE NEARBY RESIDENTS!
YOU CANNOT GET TO THE MENIFEE VALLEY FROM INTERSTATE-15 ON THESE RURAL 2 LANE ROADS IN DECENT TIME ANYMORE - NEWPORT ROAD (TAKES FOREVER, AND WHEN IT RAINS TOO MUCH - FORGET IT! UNPASSABLE AT SALT CREEK!) - BUNDY CANYON ROAD (TONS OF TRUCKS THAT CAN'T MAKE THE HILLS OVER 45 MPH SLOWS EVERYONE UP). A 10 MINUTE TRIP TAKES 20 MINUTES.
LONG TIME RESIDENTS ARE FED UP WITH RIVERSIDE COUNTY GOVERNMENT SUPERVISORS THAT SIDE WITH THE DEVELOPERS, AND NOT THE RESIDENTS.