The not-yet-built second phase of the Roripaugh Ranch development may end up looking different from its original plan after the Temecula City Council approved changes that include an enhanced sports park, different lot sizes for homes and the possibility for senior housing.
The changes to the Roripaugh Ranch Specific Plan were approved 4-0, with Councilman James “Stew” Stewart absent, during the council’s Jan. 23 meeting following a presentation by city planner Scott Cooper.
Cooper noted that in general the amendment would make it so that the number of very small lots throughout the project would be reduced whereas lots throughout the rest of the Phase II area would increase in size.
Lots along the southern and eastern borders of the Roripaugh Ranch’s Phase II area will be cut down in size from about an acre to half an acre and 20,000 square feet in size, respectively.
The developer would also be able to age-restrict some of the homes so that a person would need to be 55 or older to live there.
The project had previously allowed for the construction of both an elementary school site and a middle school site within the development, but under the amended plan the developer would be able to use those sites for multi-family housing if the Temecula Valley Unified School District opted to not build schools there.
A sports park in the area would be significantly revamped with enlarged and lighted soccer fields, enlarged baseball fields, a two-story concession building, a large open lawn area for picnics and a nature exploration area among other features.
The Long Valley Wash, a flood control channel, was previously supposed to be lined with concrete over its entirety, but under the revised specific plan it will be mostly vegetated channel with stabilization structures interspersed.
Loop Road, which previously would have been gated off and open only to residents will now be fully open and will allow access to the Long Valley Wash, making it a public amenity, according to Cooper.
Mayor Matt Rahn asked whether the school district was interested in building school sites on the two available lots of land and also noted some concern over those lots.
“I’d hate to see the development move forward and ultimately they hit the capacity on the number of allowable units and then the school district decides ultimately not to do anything on that property so then we’re left with two vacant lots in the middle of the development,” Rahn said.
Ken Kraemer from the Roripaugh Valley Restoration, LLC., the project applicant, addressed Rahn’s point by saying that the Temecula Valley Unified School District had not yet made an indication of whether they wanted to build schools yet. He said they were waiting on information on how many age-restricted homes would be located within the development.
“I think they’re waiting for us, or the group that may succeed us, to decide how many of those age-qualified or age-restricted units they build because obviously those people don’t have children so that affects their enrollment numbers,” he said. “So, I think, as soon as the development plan for the rest of it becomes a little more clear, then they will make their decision and then we move forward with either school sites or the alternative.”
Only one speaker, Ms. Miller, spoke against the Roripaugh Ranch development in general in a theatrical and somewhat confusing 3-minute monologue in which she talked about traffic, pollution and noise. The speech also included a brief segment on how she believed man-made “chemtrails” were being used to change rain patterns.
“Abandon this project and allow Long Valley Wash to flow back into the loving roots and arms of Santa Gertrudis Creek,” Miller shouted over Mayor Matt Rahn as he tried to tell her that her time was up. She then marched away from the podium, continuing to shout as she did so.
Councilmember Jeff Comerchero said that the number of homes slated for the area was approved in 2002 and no new homes were being approved through the amendments to the specific plan, in reference to comments made by Ms. Miller.
Comerchero said the amendments were good for both the developer and the city.
They were good for the developer because they could make homes more attractive to potential buyers and good for the city for some key reasons as well, he said.
“We’re getting a sports park, we’re getting trails, we’re getting all sorts of additional amenities,” Comerchero said. “It’s awfully hard not to support this.”