Wildomar approves shooting range and academy

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renderings of buildings
Above is the artist renderings of the proposed Wildomar Shooting Range/Academy that the Wildomar City Council approved to move forward during the Wednesday, Feb. 12, council meeting. Valley News/Courtesy photo

The Wildomar City Council approved plans Tuesday, Feb. 12, to build a Wildomar Shooting Range/Academy at the southeast corner of Mission Trail and Bundy Canyon Road.

The shooting range will include the construction of a 38-foot tall, two-story indoor shooting range and academy with a first floor spanning 29,286 square feet. An additional 5,503 square feet on the second floor will add up to 34,789 square feet at the facility.

The range will have more than two dozen range lanes in addition to a law enforcement gun range and tactical training area.

An existing vacant residence and associated structures would be demolished if the project gets the go-ahead from the city.

According to the project summary, “the first floor of the building would include offices, training and range areas, a lobby, gunsmith and storage, shipping and receiving.”

Classrooms, a VIP lounge, storage, employee restrooms and lounge area will be located on the second floor.

After staff and developer presentations, resident Kenneth Mays questioned traffic issues associated with the project and whether the business was the best use of the property from a financial perspective. Others questioned noise and safety. Several other residents spoke in support of the project.

“Thank you for bringing this forward,” Councilmember Ben Benoit said to the project developer. “I hope and pray that you guys move forward and build this. I hope to be there when you guys are cutting a ribbon and can’t wait to be there when you turn that first shovel of dirt. I just want to make sure you guys get to the finish line. Thank you for bringing this forward in our community.”

Councilmember Bridgette Moore questioned traffic coming in and out of the project. City Engineer Dan York broke down the entry points for the council.

“We have a whole valley that’s going to be coming to this place,” Mayor Dustin Nigg said. “There’s a lot of movement with this and it’s all been positive, so, I look forward to it.”

The project was unanimously approved by the council.

The council also approved a temporary moratorium of the cultivation of industrial hemp within the city of Wildomar, based on a presentation by City Attorney Thomas Jax.

“While cannabis is a heavily regulated industry under state law, industrial hemp cultivation is not,” Jax said. “Regulations are being drafted at both the state and federal level, but they are both not final.”

In general business, the council heard a Western Community Energy Joint Powers Update presentation from Western Riverside Council of Governments’ Tyler Masters.

In April, Western Community Energy will become the primary provider of energy to the community made possible by the Community Choice Aggregation. According to the presentation, homeowners will save about 2% on their bills and can opt in and out of the program.

Resident Monty Goddard said he has opted out of the program due to mistrust of some of the rhetoric being promoted and had skepticism regarding an additional layer of bureaucracy.

Nigg addressed the large audience in attendance at the meeting specifically on this issue.

“I’m hoping with the presentation Tyler gave, it will belay a lot of the concerns,” he said. “There are things to consider, I’ve seen the comments on Facebook. Yeah, I’ll echo what Monty said, ‘add another layer of bureaucracy, how does it make it cheaper?’

“The infographic depicts how the savings are accomplished. SCE (Southern California Edison) is doing three things all at once, on their own. Now we can at least interject ourselves, (Benoit) is on the board right now with the six different cities and those representatives from the city can collectively go bargain with the entity that produces the power and with that – ideally, savings forever,” he said.

Moore reiterated that there was a choice for residents.

“You can opt-out, and there’s no charge to opt-out,” Moore said. “So, it’s really just your choice, and we wanted to offer this to residents. Right now, there are six cities, but more cities will be coming on board after.”

Benoit and Masters explained questions from residents about purchasing power and the opt-in, opt-out policies.

Councilmember Joseph Morabito brought up the topic of short-term rentals in the Wildomar area as a future city council item. Nigg disagreed with putting city staff time toward the issue.

The council also unanimously approved the consent calendar, which included the reading and adoption of a Sign Code Update, an amendment of Chapter 10.16 of the Wildomar Municipal Code establishing speed limits and establishing speed zones on Mission Trail, Palomar Street, Bundy Canyon Road and Corydon Street; received and filed the comprehensive annual financial report and approved a cooperative funding agreement with the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District for the Mission Trail/Sedco Sidewalk Phase II. They also approved a second amendment to a professional service agreement for Wildomar/Sedco Sidewalk Improvement Project – Phase III Design; and awarded a service agreement for the preparation of a systemic safety analysis report.

The council also presented an Eagle Scout Proclamation to Troy Woodfin and heard updates from Donald Graham Elementary School and Lake Elsinore Unified School District and heard an introduction of David A. Brown Middle School Interim Principal Mr. Cassara.

They also heard updates from Social Work Action Group, the Wildomar Police Department and the city’s Economic Development team.

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