Lake Elsinore City Council approves Mission Trail Apartment plans

Lake Elsinore City Council convened, June 27, furthering the Mission Trails Apartment project.

The council approved unanimously the planning application to develop 81 multifamily residential units located within four buildings. The project proposes to build an affordable multifamily development and associated features and facilities including resident and visitor parking, a leasing and management office, a community center, on-site laundry facility, active and passive open spaces and a maintenance garage. The apartment development will be gated and is slated on vacant land west of Mission Trail, approximately 500 feet south of Hidden Trail and Elberta Road, covering 5.37 acres.

The high-density housing accommodates low to moderate income families as required by the state, according to Mayor Robert “Bob” Magee.

“There’s going to be lower income; there’s going to be more crime. That’s the automatic assumption. It would be much better to consider a credit statement or a criminal background check; those things give me a much better understanding of your predisposition of being a criminal in the future, not your pay stub,” Councilmember Steve Manos said of the income restricted project. “What we’re talking about is a workforce housing project. This is a project where there is going to be assistance for those who have jobs, and often they are people coming up, young people and young families. Others may be retirees who are on a fixed income.”

Manos discussed the property rights issue with the concerns of the community for the city-proposed, high density housing in 2011.

“We have to do right to the property owners, we have to do right to the community and we have to do right to the state,” Manos said.

Councilmember Brian Tisdale said, “We in the city of Lake Elsinore have an obligation to do right for all of our people.”

He brought up his successful involvement as mayor during the construction of the Pottery Court apartments, and Councilmember Daryl Hickman added how the success of the apartments were based on the management team.

Before the discussion, public commenters stressed the crime issue in the city, leading aptly into the apartment project.

“We don’t have the security in this city to protect the citizens already here, and we are going to have 81 apartments that will cause more traffic problems. We need streets fixed, and we need more security, and we don’t need more crime,” Alberhill Ranch Community President Paulie Tehrani said.

The board also considered insurance bonds for the Mission Trails apartment development in a public hearing. C&C Development requested that the California Statewide Communities Development Authority serve as the municipal issuer of tax-exempt multifamily housing revenue bonds in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $20,000,000. The proceeds of the bonds will be used for the purpose of making a loan to the borrower to finance the acquisition, construction and equipping of the affordable multifamily housing rental project.

Council also approved the joint relinquishment of state Route 74. The intentions are to remedy the asymmetrical jurisdictional boundary disparity. This relinquishment and conveyance to the city of Lake Elsinore of the portion of SR 74 with the jurisdictional boundary disparity is aimed to improve the city’s responsiveness and coordination in land-use planning, construction, maintenance and operational matters and provide for a more streamlined approval for adjacent property improvements that affect SR 74.

A fiscal impact is estimated due to increased highway costs and operational costs. However, the city had received $2,200,000 from Caltrans to help defray the long-term maintenance costs for the entire roadway section from Mauricio Avenue to Dexter Avenue.

Also motioned at the meeting was the professional services agreement with William’s Bait and Tackle for operational management of La Laguna Resort and Boat Launch. The board approved a six-month extension, starting June 30 from the prior agreement. The fiscal impact is calculated to be $377,763. William’s Bait and Tackle is anticipating the construction and rehabilitation of the entire site in a phased approach through a tiered operational proposal for future operations.

Public commenter Bentley Brown expressed his concerns.

“There should be some clarity on compensation,” he said. “When the money started, it was $50,000, then it was $150,000 and (now) it’s almost $400,000.”

While asking for transparency from the council, the board approved the agreement unanimously.

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