City pushes back ADU issue, hears about public right of way program

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Wildomar City Council meets via Zoom during its regularly scheduled council meeting Wednesday, Aug. 12. Valley News/Courtesy photo

During the Wildomar city council meeting Wednesday, Aug. 12, the council decided at the last minute to punt an item on the public hearings to allow city attorney Thomas D. Jex to examine a letter sent to the city.

The letter was sent in by California for Home Ownership and raised some concerns about a zoning ordinance the council was due to consider regulating accessory dwelling units in residential zones.

The city’s planning commission had urged the council to approve the first reading of the ordinance.

“I haven’t had a chance to completely analyze that letter and I suggest that the council table this item to give me a chance to go through the letter, to talk with the attorney who wrote the letter and address those concerns and bring it back to you,” Jex said.

During staff communications, Dan York, city engineer and director of public works, gave an update on a new public works portal for people to report issues or make requests and about roads being repaved within the city.

“We’ve introduced a new pavement repair, and it’s called an ARAM – an asphalt rubber aggregate membrane – not a lot of cities use this, but they probably will after they see the success of our program,” York said.

The next project will be the Bundy Canyon Road Widening, he said.

The council also approved the consent calendar, which included the awarding of a construction contract in the amount of $261,590 for construction of the pedestrian countdown head and crosswalk enhancement project; adopted a resolution regarding temporary use permits for outdoor commercial activities; received and filed the fiscal year 2018-2019 audited annual financial report for Measure AA from the Citizen’s Oversight Committee and adopted a resolution to declare a public nuisance and abate all weeds growing upon private property in the city.

Mayor Dustin Nigg pulled an item that involved a letter of support from the city regarding House Resolution 2956 put forth by Rep. Ken Calvert that would establish a Western Riverside County National Wildlife Refuge.

Included in the consent calendar approval was the acceptance of public improvements for a Meritage Homes of California Inc. project and authorized city manager Gary Nordquist to execute a contract with Homeless Services Contract-Social Work Action Group to provide homeless services to Wildomar for the fiscal year 2020-2021.

In general business, the council also heard a COVID-19 update from city departments, including parks and recreation department, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and Cal Fire Riverside County Fire Department.

The council also heard from York and commented on the Public Right of Way Enhancement Program and directed the city engineer to bring back to the council for adoption.

“This program addresses some 50 centerline miles of unmaintained streets, provides for improvement and maintenance CFD, it provides for a variety of street standards in addition to just the chip seal,” York said. “This also allows us the opportunity during the budgeting season to do a budgeting appropriation where the council can consider are there any funds, for example, Measure AA. This is another aspect that could be considered by council during budget appropriation period of time.”

“I know this was a big ask when I asked it and I know there has been a lot of components to this that we’ve talked about over the years,” Councilmember Ben Benoit said. “I think that the opportunity for future CIP financed money to go toward this as well, I think that’s another big component of that. I don’t know if this next year will be an easy year for us to do that, considering COVID-19 and sales tax numbers and everything else, it will probably be off when we come around next March but I feel strongly that our Measure AA monies should go toward a program like this.”

Councilmember Marsha Swanson said this item was exactly what residents are asking for.

“I’ve been here since there were only dirt roads mostly,” she said. “And I have seen some improvement, and I think it’s what they want to see, it’s the roads done. I love this program.”

The council also approved a recommendation by staff to ratify Nigg as the voting delegate for the city and councilmembers Benoit and Bridgette Moore as alternates for the League of California Cities annual general business meeting in October.

During the city manager report, Nordquist reported that a “Keep it Clean” Community Beautification Program would commence in the next few months.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.