San Jacinto City Council approves 9.46-acre Soboba Indian retail center


The San Jacinto City Council approved the Luiseño Band of Soboba Indians plans to build a 9.46-acre Luiseño Village retail center between Main Street and Donna Way in the city during the Tuesday, Sept. 17, council meeting.

The planned Luiseno Village being built on city land will include a commercial building, a convenience store with alcohol sales, a 24-pump service station, car wash, two fast food restaurants with drive thrus and a food restaurant. The site is located on the west side of Ramona Expressway. Another street light is planned in the area to control traffic.

The council heard a recommendation for approval of the project from the city planning commission that required a change of zone from commercial neighborhood to commercial general and a site plan and design review. The plan also required a minor use permit to allow installation of 24 fuel pumps in the service station, exceeding the 15 pump maximum.

There were no objections to the project during the public hearing on the proposal.

Councilwoman Crystal Ruiz thanked the tribe for cooperating with the city on the project and for the other projects and their support for needed city services and organizations. She called Michael Costello, the Soboba Band’s tribal administrator, to the speaker’s stand to thank him.

“It is only a small piece of things that we offer to the Valley,” Costello said of the project. “We hope to watch the city grow.”

Mayor Russ Utz said, “We want to thank Soboba for coming up with another quality product.”

The council also approved a contract with Layne Pump Company in the amount of $230,000 for the Bath Well Rehabilitation project. The well’s motor needs replacing as it is only pumping out about 300 gallons per minute of water, and the rehab would improve the output to nearly 800 gallons per minute. The city will continue to upgrade its city water wells and insure sufficient potable water delivery to all its customers in the future, the council said.

The meeting invocation that evening was delivered by the Rev. Larry Diggs of the Light of Hope Community Church. The San Jacinto Leadership Academy posted the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Tony Ault can be reached by email by