Supervisors approve Winchester Hills rezone


A rezone for a specific plan area in Winchester was approved by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

The supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday, June 2, to change the zoning of Planning Area 30 within the Winchester Hills Specific Plan from light agriculture to one family dwellings. The action also found that potentially significant environmental impacts were previously analyzed in an environmental impact report and an addendum so no new environmental document was required.

Planning Area 30 totals 18.4 acres and is south of Olive Avenue, west of Rice Road and north of Salt Creek. The Winchester Hills Specific Plan was adopted in October 1997 and had previously been modified seven times. Planning Area 30 had been included within an agricultural preserve so the original specific plan zoning was light agriculture, which requires minimum lot sizes of 10 acres. Planning Area 30 was subsequently removed from the agricultural preserve, and in November 2005, the text of the specific plan was modified to change the zoning to the one family dwellings classification which matched the planning area’s medium density residential land use designation. A December 2009 modification to the specific plan unintentionally changed the text for Planning Area 30 and returned the land to the light agriculture zoning.

The error was recently brought to the attention of county staff, and the county rather than the landowner requested the change of zoning back to one family dwellings. The county’s planning commission reviewed the proposed rezone, May 6, and voted 5-0 to recommend the change back to one family dwellings.

The text modifications stipulated a 6,000-square-foot minimum lot size within Planning Area 30 and also added that the permitted uses within Planning Area 30 may include a library.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at