Anza Community Hall board hears update on Dollar General development

The board members prepare to oversee a vote to elect a new member at the Anza Community Building board of directors meeting. Diane Sieker photo

The Anza Community Building board of directors met Thursday, Sept. 26, for the monthly member meeting. An election was held to determine who would fill a vacancy on the board, and the board heard an update on the Dollar General development.

Present were Secretary Noel Donahue, President Johnathan Schmidt, Treasurer Barbara Ann Keller, Keith Richardson, Vice President Barbara Janelle, Terry Gormley, Kimberly Patke and Mike Patke.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, Schmidt established that a quorum existed and called the meeting to order.

Keller and Richardson formed an election committee. The nominations for the position were Scott Lamsky, Trish Alexander and Dan Robinson, who was not present. Keller determined that all the nominees had been Community Hall members for at least 30 days, as per the bylaws.

A motion was made and seconded to conduct the vote by a show of hands rather than a secret ballot because of the low turnout.

Trish Alexander was elected and took her position at the table as part of the board.

The minutes from the previous meeting were read by Janelle and approved as read.

Schmidt spoke about the Comedy Night at the Community Hall slated for Oct. 26, featuring entertainers Sean Williams, Vince Harper and Rocky Osborn.

Treasurer Keller gave a report on the Community Hall finances including pending grant reimbursements.

The balance in the general account is $7,930.09, she said. The restricted account is $5,550.18, the savings account is $4,798 and Paypal is $276.51. The board is awaiting a $5,608.07 reimbursement check for Reimbursement Request No. 3 from the 2017-2018 Community Block Development Grant.

Director Keller also shared that Community Hall membership is at 180 members.

Bill Donahue gave an update on the Dollar General deal.

“We don’t have records of how the land was obtained to originally build the Community Hall, but since it is surrounded on three sides by 9 acres owned by a single entity, it appears that 1 acre of the most usable land was peeled off a 10-acre lot and donated to Anza Community Building Inc.,” he said. “Because of the water restrictions under U.S. v. Fallbrook, that generous property owner needed help from ACBI to complete the sale of another piece of that acreage for the development of a Dollar General store. But the deal also greatly benefits ACBI and the Community Hall.”

The developer of the Dollar General agreed to pay for upgrades to the well on the Community Hall lot and also pay for all the Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades required for the handicapped parking and building access. The property owner has agreed to donate another 25-foot wide strip of land – directly behind the Community Hall – needed for the installation of a new septic system.

“The developer is paying all costs associated with this land transfer,” Donahue said. “We estimate the benefits to the Community Hall to have a direct value of almost $150,000, but the indirect value is even greater. Currently the Community Hall is being allowed to continue operating the kitchen based on a temporary agreement. If we were unable to obtain the strip of land, there is no assurance of the continuation of that temporary agreement and we might face the loss of use of the kitchen.”

The original agreement, allowing Dollar General to tie into the Community Hall’s transient public water system was made between the board of directors for ACBI and Cross Development, the developer for Dollar General. In 2018, Dollar General and Cross Development parted ways.

Because that agreement had never been ratified by Dollar General and ACBI had discovered the need to obtain the 25-foot strip of land, the entire deal needed to be renegotiated in 2019.

“We are close – like months, not weeks – for construction to begin,” Donahue said.

The date and time of next working meeting was set for Thursday, Oct. 10, and the next general meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m.

Community Hall Board meetings are open to the public, and everyone is encouraged to attend.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the Anza Community Building Inc. can call (951) 428-0901. Memberships are $20 per person or family with one vote per family or person and $35 per business with one vote.

Cash and checks are accepted.

For more information, visit the Hall on Facebook at or at

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at