Hemet City Council approved zone changes and permits for two commercial projects during the Aug.22 council meeting, one at Sanderson and Menlo avenues and the other at Elk Street and Thornton Avenue west of Stetson Avenue.
The council was particularly pleased to approve the zone change and conditional use permit for the property off the northeast corner Sanderson and Menlo avenues as submitted by Marwan Alabassi of Zanderson that has built a number of other upscale service stations and convenience stores in the area.
The Alabassi family proposes to build and operate 4,600-square-foot, two-story convenience store with a beer and wine license; a 1,600-square-foot, drive-thru restaurant; a 16-pump Chevron gas station and car wash; three 5,000-square-foot, drive-thru restaurants and 40,000 square feet of multi-tenant retail buildings to be constructed in two phases on the 8.67-acre parcel.
Marwan Alabassi, represented by Mike Nagger, explained to the council that they have met with the community church officials across from the proposed development and gained their approval for the project, agreeing to halt any beer and wine sales after 10 p.m. each evening.
The Alabassi family recently completed the construction of a similar project on Florida Avenue and Winchester Road that is now thriving. Their family-run developments in the area employ 300 people.
The council was equally pleased to approve a zone change and a tentative tract map for a 40.28-acre parcel located at the southwest corner of Elk Street and W. Thornton Avenue. The zone was changed from multifamily residential to single-family residential. The location was once the called “Hemet truck stop” where big rigs were parked over the weekends on some already paved roads on the parcel, one councilmember said.
The residential development, River Oaks Ranch, will have two subdivisions with 158 new homes when completed. The first phase will include construction of 83 homes on 6,000- to 10,000-square-foot lots. The second will have 75 homes on 6,000- to 8,600- square-foot lots.
The developer indicated that flooding problems that have occurred along the south end of the property on Chambers Street will be mitigated by 60-inch storm drains and the road improved. The flooding in heavy rains has affected residents living in Seven Hills and the London Spires Estates. The developer said more engineering studies are underway.
No date was set for starting that development other than “pretty soon.”