Supervisors approve Sirah Vineyard development

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The Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved a Temecula Valley Wine Country development which will subdivide 290 acres into 14 parcels.

The supervisors voted 5-0, Tuesday, July 7, to approve the tentative parcel map and a zoning change from Citrus/Vineyard – 5 Acre Minimum to Wine Country – Winery. Although the land use designation remains as Agriculture: Agriculture a general plan amendment involving the plan’s circulation element changed La Serena Way from a secondary highway to a collector. The supervisors’ action also removed 43.27 acres from an agricultural preserve and disestablished a second agricultural preserve which had been 82.73 acres.

Sirah Vineyard Development Corporation owns the land south and west of La Serena Way, north of Rancho California Road and east of Butterfield Stage Road. The 14 lots will have a minimum size of 20 acres. The tentative parcel map is for the subdivision of land only; future land uses will be specific to each parcel although they will be consistent with land uses permitted by the Wine Country – Winery zoning classification.

Rancho California Agricultural Preserve No. 3 was established in August 1970 and was originally 138.85 acres. In September 2008, the preserve was diminished by 84.04 acres, and the removal of the 43.27 acres reduces the remaining amount to 10.54 acres. Rancho California Agricultural Preserve No. 35 was established in April 1982 and was originally 152.3 acres. In September 2008, 70.17 acres were removed from that preserve. The Temecula Valley Wine Country Policy Area was established to protect the region’s viticulture activities, wineries and incidental commercial uses, large residential estates and equestrian uses and the encouragement of incidental commercial uses maintains agricultural character without having the limits of an agricultural preserve. The Southwest Area Plan allows for subdivisions with minimum lot sizes of 10 acres.

Had La Serena Way retained its secondary highway classification, it would have been slated for expansion to four lanes. Anza Road is the only street in the Temecula Valley Wine Country Policy Area which is not a two-lane road, and the reclassification of La Serena Way to a collector allows it to remain as a rural road. Although La Serena Way after buildout would be approximately 5% above the level of Service D capacity for a collector, the planned improvements for La Serena Way include a traffic signal at its intersection with Butterfield Stage Road and a roundabout at its intersection with Rancho California Road.

The county’s planning commission heard the proposed changes May 6 and voted 5-0 to recommend approval.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at jnaiman@reedermedia.com.