County initiates Lakeland Village general plan amendment proceedings

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved the initiation of general plan amendment proceedings in the Lakeland Village area of unincorporated Lake Elsinore.

The supervisors’ 4-0 vote April 18, does not approve the foundation component and land use designation amendments at this time but allows county staff to proceed with the process for the changes. The proceedings will cover 176 parcels on approximately 109 acres generally south of Grand Avenue between Kathryn Way and Richard Street.

The foundation component for the area is currently a combination of rural, rural community and open space. The proposed amendment would change the foundation designation to community development. The current land use designations of rural residential, estate density residential and conservation would be changed to mixed-use area, medium density residential and commercial retail.

A rezone may also be part of the general plan amendment proceedings. The land currently has rural residential, scenic highway commercial, watercourse, watershed and conservation areas and general residential zoning.

The county’s planning department is evaluating the land use patterns and policies which guide Lakeland Village development. The proposed amendments will reflect the area’s existing uses, parcel sizes and development patterns and will provide policy direction to address local issues such as economic development, affordable housing options for seniors and veterans, development constraints, traffic circulation, pedestrian access, community-serving commercial options and road and utility infrastructure. The change for the 1.75-mile segment of Grand Avenue would also make uses on that street more consistent with the remainder of Grand Avenue in the cities of Lake Elsinore and Wildomar.

The county’s general plan advisory committee unanimously recommended that the county initiate the amendment proceedings Oct. 6, while cautioning that special attention must be given to flood and fire hazard areas. The Dec. 7 hearing of the county’s planning commission recommended a medium density residential designation rather than estate density residential to support higher density along Grand Avenue.

Because the general plan amendment proceedings were initiated by the county rather than by a developer, who would reimburse the county for the cost of staff and consultant time and for other county expenses, the county will fund the estimated $901,908 cost for the general plan amendment, zone consistency program and environmental analysis. The timeline will be dependent on the county’s budget. If funds are available, the actual general plan amendment and rezone are expected to occur during fiscal year 2019-2020.

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