Menifee readies for July 1 opening of police department, seeks to move forward with a 331-acre planned community

Mayor Bill Zimmerman, left, and Mayor Pro Tem Matt Liesemeyer, right, attend the Menifee City Council meeting, June 3. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Menifee is working to open up their own police department by Wednesday, July 1; however, one of the things they still need to decide on is a fee schedule for the department, which was discussed at the June 3 Menifee City Council meeting.

The Menifee Police Department will take over police services from Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and will collect fees for a variety of municipal services, according to the staff report. As such, the city will conduct an updated comprehensive fee study to include police department specific fees, which will take several months.

Some factors that will be considered during the study include applicable laws, salary and benefits, direct and indirect costs such as operations and maintenance, material costs and overhead costs which include payroll and administrative services.

During the meeting, the specific plan for the 331-acre community Legado was presented, regarding zoning changes, tentative tract maps and the development agreement. The site is surrounded by existing residential construction to the north, east, west and south and also Hans Christensen Middle School, mobile home park and Life Care Center to the south.

The Fleming Ranch specific plan, which was supposed to cover the project, was never approved or adopted at the time the land’s general plan was in process. It was assumed that the Fleming Ranch specific plan would move forward, and if it didn’t, any future developer of the site would be responsible to process a new specific plan.

The Legado specific plan is a master planned community with 1,061 lots proposed on 217 acres, 20.8 acres of park land, 6 acres of open space and a 1.9-acre private recreation center.

For residential, the specific plan includes 15 residential planning areas with a variety of lot sizes ranging from 5,000 square feet to 7,000 square feet.

The specific plan also includes 20.1 acres of commercial, 38.6 acres of roadways and 26.4 acres of basins.

There are two tract maps that subdivide the specific plan into the individual lots.

“West Village” subdivides residential portions of specific plan west of Sherman Road into 475 residential lots and includes the community park, a neighborhood park and the private recreation center.

“East Village” subdivides residential portions of specific plan east Sherman Road into 547 residential lots and also includes a neighborhood park.

This project was presented to the planning commission May 13. Four letters were received before the June 3 meeting. The first two letters were from the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters and the Life Care Center of Menifee and contained comments regarding the adequacy of the final environmental impact report, and the other two letters were from Arts Council Menifee and The Boys and Girls Club of Menifee Valley in support of the project.

At the meeting, five commenters from the public spoke in support of the project, according to reports, specifically in favor of the project amenities including the community park and the community center. It was recommended that city council approve the project.

The specific plan, which will be built in three phases, established the framework for development of the property, including the land uses and density of the site. The specific plan created development standards and design guidelines to ensure a high-quality community, and it also identifies infrastructure that is needed for the development, including roads, drainage and parks and recreation.

The plan provided for access to and through the site and incorporates roundabouts, specialty paving and landscaping, among others. They also coordinated with the Riverside Transit Agency to include bus stop locations where there are planned bus routes.

The plan also includes a bikeway and neighborhood electric vehicle plan with additional bike lanes to ensure bike pathways throughout the property. It includes a pedestrian and trails network. Every home will be within one quarter of a mile of a trail.

In other business, Menifee residents will be electing three city council members in the Nov. 3 election, one each from District 1 and District 3, as well as one mayor at large. Each position is for a four-year term, ending in 2024. The candidate nomination period begins July 13 and ends Aug. 7.

The ballot will include the qualified citizen initiated measure to repeal Measure DD, the city’s 1% sales tax, according to staff.

For more on Senate Bill 743 and transportation impacts, the GP Implementation Program, information on deadlines for submitting candidate nominations for office, the capital improvement program or the budget adoption with COVID-19 impacts, visit

Lexington Howe can be reached by email at