After nearly three years of planning and intensive study, the Murrieta City Council approved the 122-acre Adobe Springs residential and business development specific plan located along the west side of Winchester Road between Via Mira Mora and Porth Road across from French Valley Airport.
The project had “the most constraints than any other,” according to several of the Murrieta Councilmembers, including sensitive Indian cultural sites, open space and environmental issues, public and private parking needs and numerous other requirements.
Yet with the council, the Murrieta City Planning staff, the developer Murrieta KLC Holdings, LLC, the Pechanga Indian Tribal Council and the Western Regional Riverside Regional Conservation Authority (RCA) working together in its planning the project will become a reality with construction expected to begin in summer 2018. The project will include a planned 283 single family detached homes, a 208,000-square-foot business park on 14 acres and approximately 67 acres of open space and parkland. The single-family homes ranging between 2,660 and 3792-square-feet in floor space will be built on 36-acres in the project plan.
Residents and motorists traveling along Highway 79, or Winchester Road will see the highway widened from Via Mira Mosa and a new bridge over French Valley Creek leading into the new business park and gated community and possibly 10 miles of new trails and sidewalks through the open space.
The developers and city planners assured several residents at the meeting that traffic along Winchester Road will not be impacted by the business park and residential development and may even see improvement with the road widening. The developer also noted that the project is actually “overparked” with 154 more parking spaces than required by the city building codes.
The 67-acre open space area, that will be eventually turned over to the RCA, will remain sensitive to a small area north of the planned business park that is culturally significant to the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians lands and insure safe wildlife a passage through the project designated open space to other wildland and mountain areas.
The developer, working with the Riverside County environment health department, has also agreed to a special cleanup of the lead that has accumulated on the now closed Temecula Gun Club on the west side of Winchester Road in a portion of the planned development.
Scott Myers from McKellar Mcgowen LLC one of the KLC principals explained some of the plans for the project and thanked the council for their consideration and help in its planning. “We look forward to building Adobe Springs. It will be a welcome addition to all of Murrieta.” He gave a short history of the project and explained more of the project plans.
The project will be built in two phases.
Phase 1 includes the dedication of the approximately 67 acres to the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority (RCA) for conservation purposes and the development of the 283 detached single family detached homes with two private recreation areas. Phase 1 will also include the construction of streets dubbed A and B on the specific plan and the construction of half-width improvements on Winchester Road, including the new signalized intersection.
Phase 2 includes the development the of the 14-acre Business Park that is estimated to provide another 1,000 jobs to the community upon completion.
City staff reported that on “October 26, 2016, the project was presented to the Planning Commission. Four members of the public (two representatives of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, a broker and a resident) spoke at the hearing, all speaking favorably of the proposed project. An e-mail was submitted objecting to the installation of an additional traffic signal on Winchester Road. The Commission voted to recommend approval of the project, upholding staff’s recommendation.”
The Commission found the “project is consistent with multiple goals and policies of the City’s General Plan as it provides for additional residential and business park development that will contribute to balancing the job to housing ratio in the Cities northeast corridor.”
During the Dec. 20 council meeting five residents appeared before the council to make comments on the project, two were positive for the project, one was neutral and two questioned the traffic and parking portion of the plan.
Paul Macarro, brother of the Pechanga Tribal Chairman, made a rare appearance at the council meeting to praise the developers and the council for being sensitive to the tribe’s cultural heritage and lands, but noted that the tribe remains neutral on any city land issues.
He said the tribe in its history has only seen seven area city land developments as “positive.”
“This project is our 8th that we have seen as positive,” Macarro said.
Cecilia Webster, a resident that lives in a housing area adjacent to the project said she believed it would be benefit to the entire community and particularly favored the tentative trail plans in the open space area.
Following the presentation, council praised the staff, the developers and the Pechanga Tribe for working with them in fostering the plans for Adobe Springs. Mayor Rick Gibbs, Mayor Pro Tem Jonathon Ingram and Councilmen Randon Lane, Alan Long and Kelly Seyarto voted “yes” to approve eight resolutions and ordinances needed to permit Adobe Springs to pursue their project.
Gibbs elected to take a few minutes on the floor at the beginning of the meeting to recall the advancements that have taken place in city since he was first appointed mayor in 2007. He recalled when the then new city manager Rick Dudley told him the city He said had a $9 million surplus. He said the council and the staff put aside they extra money to see the city through in the predicted “Great Recession.” He noted the extra savings, the work of the city staff and and the residents’ understanding the city saw through the rough times.
“We are much better off now than we were then,” Gibbs said. He touted the city low crime rates and nationally recognized public safety record of the city but said the new council now has “very important decisions to make in the next 10 years…We have to figure out what it is we need now,” calling upon the residents to let the council know what their needs are and how to get there.
The Murrieta City Council Dec. 20 also recognized the retirements of librarian and volunteer Lori Lowe; Firefighter Phil Dominquez and Fire Captain Evan Tiss.